Monday, July 17, 2006:
Are people evil or are they possessed of evil or by evil? These are contexts of the same thing. We are what we do, as Jesus points out quite clearly when he tells us that we know each other by our results or fruits as he calls them. We also know that there is a spirit, an emotional condition, a feeling, that flows about externally between and among people and other creatures and life forms affecting the environment and matter and energy, etc., and which spirit itself is not tangible other than how it manifests. It shows itself via its results, creations, forms, kinds, etc.
If you change your behavior, you are not exactly what you were before. We are different beings from one moment to the next even though our kind may not yet have changed. In the eyes of God, we may not have reached and crossed the threshold enough to constitute a sufficiently new, and now, righteous spirit-kind.
This is why one may simply go through the motions of behavioral changes without making the spiritual transformation that would seemingly match the behavior were it genuine, if there were not some ulterior motive. The behavioral changes in this case were superficial, as in sheep's clothing, and transitory, as the seed the roots of which were not deep enough because the seed was in shallow soil.
From all of this, we see that our thoughts and words are working out the otherwise incongruous.
People are evil and possessed by evil at the same time. People can genuinely and permanently change. The root motivation is determinant. The root determines whether or not the behavior is real. "Real" here is perfect, incorruptible.
This is easier said than done. It's why lip service, with out even the pretense of good works, is so common.