Can A Rascal Change?

Merriam-webster.com defines Rascal as: a mean, unprincipled, or dishonest person

Wordnetweb.princeton.edu defines Rascal as: rogue, a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel

Over a decade ago someone important to me once asked “Do you think it is possible for a person who is a rascal to change?”  My answer was something to the effect of “anyone can change if they want to.”

It wasn’t until many years after that conversation that I realized, after getting to know this person better, that they were referring to themselves and their actions indicated they did not want to change, their actions were that of a “rascal.”

Why would someone choose to be a rascal?  This is a hard question for me to answer or for that matter understand.  I can’t imagine living a life being deceitful and unreliable.  The only conclusion I can come up with is they are living a life apart from Christ.

Over the years I believe this person really did want to change, why else would they of ever asked the question?  But I believe just as we all have a primary love language, some people have a natural language that is dishonest, or unprincipled.  It comes natural to them, maybe because of their upbringing or some tragedy earlier in life that they felt they could only survive by being a rascal.  Just as with me for example, my natural language is honesty, directness, and pride in having good character and integrity.  I was raised knowing to be successful in life you needed to be honest, reliable, etc.

It is difficult to cultivate relationships with rascals, mainly because once you realize they are a rascal you also realize they cannot be trusted.  How do you have a relationship with someone you can’t trust?

However, I do believe that rascals can change if they want to and most importantly with God’s help.  Nothing is impossible with Christ!  He can take out the harden heart and replace it with a heart of flesh.  It takes intercessory prayer of others as well as the will of the person wanting to change, but I do believe rascals can become individuals of character.

It is up to people who are in full relationship with Christ to set the example.  To be the mentor and coach in helping those rascals in this world turn to the light.  Yes, there will be some people who choose not to change, some people are just unsafe.  That should never stop us from turning our light off as being an example of a safe person in Christ.

If you are a rascal and are tired of that life, ask God to come into your heart, ask for forgiveness for your past actions and mean it.  Work on learning a new language in life, the language of integrity and good character in Christ.  You just may be surprised how much better life is when you are honest and reliable as well as how different you are treated by others.  Your relationships will blossom.

My prayer today is that all those rascals we know will reach up to the Hand of God, hold on and never let go for a life changing experience.