Thursday, May 30, 2024

Nancy Hughes: Are you a quick-change artist?

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

Romans 7:15 (NIV)

“Well, guess what?” my mother said to me as she arrived home from work. “I just saw a quick-change artist.” My 9-year-old brain was confused. “I’m not sure what that is,” I replied. She explained it this way. 

“A quick-change artist can, within seconds, change from one outfit to another during a performance. The person watching in the audience is in awe of how fast it happens.” Then she continued: “I was that person watching about 20 minutes ago.” She continued.


“As I turned to drive through Dederick, I saw two young men in a car in front of me. Suddenly, without missing a beat, the driver and the passenger changed places! One jumped up and over in the air and the other slid under. So the passenger was now the driver of the car and the driver was now the passenger. In seconds!”

“But why? I asked her. “Why in the world would they do that?” My mother nodded her head. “I wondered the same thing until I saw the vehicle driving toward us. It was the sheriff. And I realized that whoever was driving the car at first, was not supposed to be doing that.” My next question came quickly. “Did they fool the sheriff?” My mother smiled. “No, they did not. He turned around with his lights on and they pulled over. Their quick-change act did not fool him at all.”

As I remembered the experience my mother shared with me, it caused me to think about times in my life when I, too, have been a quick-change artist. Let me explain. I watched a show on TV that was not appropriate for a Christian mother and quickly changed it when my children walked into the room. I taught a Bible study on being careful how we speak about others and 10 minutes later I was commenting negatively about a friend. Can you relate at all?

Just as the sheriff wasn’t fooled by the quick-change artist, neither is the Lord fooled by our actions. Maybe the comments we made or thought about someone will never be made known to the person, but they will never be hidden from the Lord and He will not be fooled. He sees our hearts. He knows our motives.


What can we do? How can we change this sin - and it is a sin - of saying or doing the opposite of what we should be doing? Even Paul struggled with it. He says in Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

We must be committed to doing battle - daily battle. We have to fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God. It requires digging deep into the Scriptures and must be accompanied by repentance and a true desire to be like Jesus. Are we going to fail at times? Yes, because we are human. But we worship a God of second chances, who forgives when we repent and encourages us to start over in our walk with Him. Commit everything you do and say to Jesus. Give Him all your thoughts and actions. When you do, you will remain His child and never have to be a quick-change artist.

Father, forgive me for changing my behavior and beliefs depending on where I am and who I am with. Help me to keep my life focused on you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Have you ever done or said the exact opposite of what you knew you should do or say?

Were you convicted of what you did wrong or did you try to justify it?


Before saying or doing the opposite of what Jesus teaches, count to 10. Then count to 10 again.

Was the situation or conversation better because you stayed silent? Repeat as necessary.


Romans 7:15 (NIV) “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

Psalm 55:21 (NIV) “His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.”

Proverbs 21:2 (NIV) “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)

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