One of the best comebacks I have ever heard was given by Clinton Duffy the warden/prison reformer who served at California's San Quentin prison for many years. Warden Duffy had given a speech at a service club convention and told of the many changed men through the programs of chapel, job opportunities upon release. He told the dramatically successful ones to be sure.
After the speech a man, a rather pompous one as I recall came up to the Warden and said, "Your speech was very interesting Sir, but I don't believe a leopard can change its' spots."
Mr. Duffy immediately responded with, "Sir, you are right. A leopard cannot change its' spots. But men are not Leopards and they can change; I see it happen every day."
I have used Mr. Duffy's response for over thirty years and I can say from the many prison chapel programs I have preached/taught in and the men and women I know who do the same, many of whom were once in prison themselves and a few far more than once, do change.
I give Mr. Duffy's critic the point that men seldom change themselves, but when Christ comes into their life, they can not only change, but the fact is they want to change.
The charge is often brought by many critics "Well, it looks to me like he/she just got a bit of Jail House Religion." It is true that many find they can use the message and people of the Lord to their own advantage. I don't find this any different than the businessman who must be part of a church where he can sell more of his whatever. I have found after forty nine years of walking with Jesus that there are just as many perhaps even more users operating in churches on the outside than inside prison walls.
I do not say this with rancor as even Jesus experienced the heartbreak of healing ten lepers and only one bothered to thank him. Here is the account:
And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Luke 17:12-19.
I spend more time thanking God that even one professed change is real than I do criticizing works and people of God who press on in spite of limited visible results.