"Never trust Tom. I did and he disappointed me. Not only once, but twice!" said his employer.
"But why should I not trust him?" his friend asked.
"People never change. Once a thief, always a thief! Once a liar, always a liar," he raged.
But that is not always true.
Few people were more despised than the tax collectors in Jesus' day. The Romans were attempting to establish a world empire and it was a costly venture.
To accomplish their goal they levied heavy taxes on all of the nations that were under their control. Without the tax collectors the Empire could not survive. So it was no surprise that the people were shocked when Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus. How could someone as honest as Jesus associate with such a dishonest thief and liar?
However, when he met Jesus, he realized that he needed to straighten out his life. And he did! "Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor. If I have cheated anyone of anything, I will pay him back four times." And he did.
The new birth brings new behaviors. When we change on the inside, people will see it on the outside.
Prayer: Forgive us, Father, if we claim to be born again but live as we always have. May we repent, now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 90:17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.