Allowing People to Change

A deep yearning within my soul has been satisfied now that we have been blessed with The Vanilla Ice Project.  That’s right, Vanilla Ice is back and instead of rollin’ in his 5.0 with his ragtop down so his hair can blow he’s calling the shots in a DIY Network reality show.  He and his crew are renovating a 7,000 square foot Palm Beach mansion one room at a time and allowing us, his adoring fans, to be along for the ride. 

Okay, I’m not really one of his adoring fans.  His show debuted in October of last year and I haven’t watched a single moment of it.  It’s not that I have anything against him; I have used my ability to sing “Ice Ice Baby” to impress people who are easy to impress for years.  It’s that I have a hard time seeing him as anything other than a guy who spits not-so-fresh rhymes.  I know that this is terribly shallow of me.  It happens.

Honestly, I didn’t see this coming.  There have been times when I have correctly predicted that a certain famous person would wind up on Dancing With the Stars or in prison (two places that are have strange similarities).  But I didn’t predict that the man who was the precursor to Eminem would have a renovation reality show on the DIY network. 

Maybe I need to branch out a little on my predictions when it comes to future roles for today’s stars.  Starting now.  Here a few possible career choices that might be able to keep the spotlight on current celebrities as the years go by:

1.  Kanye West as a Bill O’Reilly-esque talk show host/political commentator.  I don’t know if Kanye has any knowledge or interest in politics, but I do know that he is good at interrupting people which is definitely a pre-requisite for the job. “Imma let you finish Mubarak, but Manuel Noriega had one of the best evil/creepy faces on a national leader of all time. Of all time!  Yours is good, but his was better.  Plus, his had more dents.”

2.  Lady Gaga as a host of a cooking show.  Would she wear a different meat dress each week?  Yes.  Would she pull pieces of meat off of the dress and cook it?  Yes.  Would there be a lot of bacon?  No doubt.  Would you watch?  Probably.

3.  Justin Bieber as an evening news anchor.  According to the Institute of Fake Statistics (IFS), the average age of people who watch the evening news is 112.  Advertisers do not like this unless they are trying to sell Hoverounds or Metamucil.  It would probably take a lot of money and the promise of a legion of hairdressers to get Bieber to keep us up to date on news that we have been tweeting about all day, but it would be well worth it.  “Baby, baby, baby, oh–the stock market’s in trouble.”

4.  Big Bird as a bounty hunter.  You might think that Big Bird would be too conspicuous to catch criminals.  Question: Have you seen Dog the Bounty Hunter?  If he can sneak up on people looking like a cross between a Thunderdome reject and one of the Village People surely Big Bird could do the same.  And I can’t think of anything more terrifying than being hunted down by a giant bird.  It would be ratings gold.

So, what do you think?  Am I on to anything with these four?  Probably not.  For one thing these are silly examples.  For another thing many of their fans would be like I am toward Vanilla Ice–unable and unwilling to see them as anything other than what they currently are.

It seems that we have this same problem with people who aren’t celebrities, too.  They might change, but we keep seeing them as the way they were, not as who they are now.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

He  committed adultery , but now he has found forgiveness at the feet of Jesus and is trying to find forgiveness from those he wounded so deeply.

She used to be addicted to drugs, but now she is clean and her life is being lived for God.

He has been a jerk all of his life, but now, because of the transformative power of the Gospel, his actions reveal a heart full of love.

People change.  Sometimes dramatically.  It’s hard to see people how they are and not how they have been.  It’s even harder to see people how the could be.  But with God’s grace we can do both.

May this be a deep yearning within our souls.

(What other celebrities would you like to see in other roles?  Why is it so hard to “allow” people to change?  Share away!)

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36 thoughts on “Allowing People to Change

  1. “cross between a Thunderdome reject and one of the Village People” HAHAHA!

    Oprah Winfrey guest host Minute To Win It. Simply for the fun factor, that would be exciting. Plus, the contestents would faint when she gives them a cruise in additional to their prize.

  2. I know he’s dead, but Michael Jackson as a daycare teacher… oh wait. He tried that.

    I know, I know…sad and I need to repent.

    It is hard to see people for more than they were or are currently… but Jesus in His earthly ministry repeatedly did just that. And he did that in my life for which I am immensely grateful.

    I really try to see people as Jesus does through love. We are created by God in His image for a purpose. Through God’s grace, each one of us are able to be transformed in Him to present and represent all that He intended us to be.

  3. First of all, I’m forty, so you need to know that I bring the average age for watching the news WAY down! Just think what it would be if I stopped watching!

    I don’t see why Lady Gaga can’t wear bacon earrings. Oh wait…. then I’d be trying to nibble her ears… Yeah, I can see why she wouldn’t want that! 🙂

    I see your point though, about learning to see our brothers and sisters in Christ as new creations.

  4. You’re hilarious and you make a good point. 🙂 I don’t know why it’s so hard to let others experience the same grace we’ve experienced. Whenever I bring it back to God though and pray for the person I don’t think deserves it *ahem* my perspective is always changed. I want to see those around me as He sees. Good stuff, Matt. Thanks.

  5. Mike Tyson as the bachelor. (I know that was awful).

    As much as people change it seems we love to celebrate their defeats and bury their victories. It should be the other way, but we live in planet earth.

  6. Love this: “There have been times when I have correctly predicted that a certain famous person would wind up on Dancing With the Stars or in prison (two places that are have strange similarities).”

    Oh how true – and judgmental. Sorry, I forgot what you were getting at.

    This is comeback #4 for Vanilla, right? Hmm, let’s see…Ice Baby,..opener at Green Day show,…The Surreal Life with Tammy Faye…and…YES, Do it Yourself TV..

    My predictions would be:
    Jay Leno (80 yrs old) – “And yes, folks, that wax will make your BMW shine like nothing else.” (see: infomercial)
    Jessica Simpson – Author of 5 Self-Help Bestsellers including “Free to be YOU,” “The Chocolate Enemy Fitness Guide” (nothing against any of this or her, I just see her taking the Suzanne Somers route)
    Andy Richter – “And that’s another $50,000 won right here on Family Fued!”

    • I can only imagine how critical he would be of the families. “This is the picture you’re 4-yr-old drew for you on Mother’s Day? Terrible. Are you sure she even loves you.”

  7. Love this! Giving people the grace to change, or in Brady Bunch parlance “When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange.” Or in CS Lewis speak “loving one’s neighbor as one’s self means being just as forgiving of their sins as one is of one’s own.” Something like that.

    Give each other the freedom to fail, and help each other back up. <–that's grace played out in human terms in my book

  8. “According to the Institute of Fake Statistics (IFS), the average age of people who watch the evening news is 112.”

    That’s hilarious. I think my parents still watch the news.

    Not only do I struggle to believe that others can change, I forget that I can change too. I’ve labeled myself with every.single.mistake.ever.made. Thanks for reminding me to give all of us a break.

  9. Much grace received, much given. Do too many Christians not realize the amount of grace it took to give them eternal life even if not saved out of a deeply depraved life or situation? It seems to be a problem with not only too low a view of God (as Jonathan said), but too low a view of grace.

    I must remember that change is a life-long process. I’m not who I was…even since becoming a Christ Follower…and I’m not who I’m gonna be.

    BTW…your writing is killer! …in a good, gangsta, comedic way.

  10. This is my first time on your blog. I enjoyed what you had to say in your post. I work in the field of addiction for the past 10 years and myself have experienced drug addiction for 9 years and I and many others like me have changed. I am no longer the person I use to be. I love what I get to do everyday as I see the reality and the power of God changing people! What an honor! Thanks again for sharing.

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