"You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
This phrase means you can't change someone's habits when they've been engaging in them for a long time. It's not very helpful and it's a toxic way to think.
When we turn to Christ, we reject our bad habits. I'm not talking about cigarettes and whiskey; I'm talking about personality traits. To mention impatience, anger, stubbornness, ignorance, and closed-mindedness would only be scratching the surface.
When the Holy Spirit convicts me about the negative ways in which I tend to act, I chalk it up to "God made me this way so there's nothing I can do about it." Those aren't the thoughts of a believer, those are the thoughts of a slave.
God didn't make me ignorant. The garbage information that I received from American society made me ignorant.
God didn't make me an angry person. The wrong-doings of broken and sinful people (who are no different from myself) made me an angry person.
Our environment plays a powerful role in our personalities. When I ignore my personality issues and use the "old dog/ new tricks" copout, I'm transforming myself into the devil's puppet.
I have to constantly fight the urges that prevent me from carrying out God's plan. It's much easier to brush off my flaws and be a puppet, but I don't follow Christ for ease and comfort. I desire true change from the inside out.
In the 2nd chapter of Philippians, Paul encourages the church in Philippi to selflessly submit to one another. "For it is God who works in you. . ." God can't work through me if I don't humble myself.
How can we selflessly submit to one another if we don't let God work in us? We need to curb our stubbornness, allow God to exchange our old habits for better ones, and move forward in helping one another live out the gospel.
I'd say there's a 100% chance we won't regret it.
A brief explanation of this post's title.
Jim Henson was, among many talents, a puppeteer. He was the mastermind behind The Muppet Babies; one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. If you aren't familiar with his work, I strongly suggest you look into it. Except for Labyrinth. David Bowie rules, but that movie sucks.