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What Does "Stripes" refer to
in the Title of Your Book?

Hello Dr. Matt:

My name is Vanissa. I'm 23 years old and single from southern California. I just ordered your book online. I have a question about the book title: Changing Your Stripes? Having read many pages at your website, I'm pretty sure that you are a Christian. Does the title of your book refer to :
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
For me, Christ's Atonement is the only path to genuine, lasting change. His love and life, His suffering and sacrifice, have touched me and taken me to new heights of healing, living, loving and being: "O to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be!"
Warmest Regards,


Dear Vanissa:

The "stripes" by which we are healed, are very important stripes indeed! But they are different from the "Stripes" of my book title—which are the stripes of a tiger. Jeremiah referred to the un-changeable spots of a leopard; these are the "Stripes" that I speak of primarily:

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?
then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."
(Jer. 13: 23)

Just as a bitter fountain cannot bring forth pure water (Moroni 7:11), so also, it is impossible for an evil man to do good. Hence a fundamental change from the core is required, if any of us will do good! This fundamental change cannot occur solely through mortal will power, but only happens through the miracle Christ's atonement. It is the Savior who makes us "new creatures" (2 Cor. 5: 17).

Thus, His Stripes bring about our Change of Stripes: We become new creatures solely through His Suffering.

Finally, I recognize the passage you quote at the end of your email. It's from the hymn "Come thou Fount of Every Blessing." I happen to be the choir director in my Church, and my choir has sung this song! Here's the complete text to the hymn, to include a 4th verse of which many are unaware.

                Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
                Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
                Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
                Call for songs of loudest praise.
                Teach me some melodious sonnet,
                Sung by flaming tongues above.
                Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
                Mount of Thy redeeming love.

                Here I raise my Stone of Memory;
                Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
                And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
                Safely to arrive at home.
                Jesus sought me when a stranger,
                Wandering from the fold of God;
                He, to rescue me from danger,
                Interposed His precious blood.

                O to grace how great a debtor
                Daily I’m constrained to be!
                Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
                Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
                Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
                Prone to leave the God I love;
                Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
                Seal it for Thy courts above.

                O that day when freed from sinning,
                I shall see Thy lovely face;
                Clothed then in blood washed linen
                How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
                Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
                Take my ransomed soul away;
                Send thine angels now to carry
                Me to realms of endless day.

Here is a touching performance of this beautiful hymn, sung by a Brigham Young University Choir. BYU is the university where I did my Doctoral studies.


Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

* * * * * * *

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The Greatest Prize
for Life's labors isn't
in material possessions
or impressive accomplishments,
but in the progress of personal character.
You labor for your own becoming, this is your richest reward.
Who You Become is your greatest possession,
make it your Masterpiece!

(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 274)

The book, "Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
the ditch in which you've been dumped (the difficulties of which you are a victim), and
the ditch in which you've jumped (the difficulties for which you volunteer).

"Mastering a challenging situation
is ultimately a matter of
mastering yourself!"

- Matt Moody 

"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
making you a new kind of creature capable of communicating
with calm, even as storms of contention swirl.

If these principles resonate and ring true,
then . . . this book is for you!

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and solve all of
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Changing Your Stripes

Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

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