Prayer, Not Pressure, Changes People
“But we all…are changed…by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Co 3:18
Jesus asked the question, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Mt 7:3 NIV). Expecting more out of people than they’re able to give will hurt your relationships, not help them. People need the freedom to be who they are. That doesn’t mean they don’t need or want to change. But nobody appreciates being given the message, even subtly, that they must change in order to be loved and accepted. We’re more likely to change for those who are willing to accept us with our shortcomings, than for those who demand we live by their rules. One thing’s for sure: God won’t change the people we’re trying to change until we adopt a “hands off” policy. We must get out of His way and let Him work! Even when we think we’re hiding our disapproval, people still feel it. It’s in our voice and body language. Prayer is the great change agent, not pressure. If we truly love people we’ll pray for them and allow God to work on them His way, on His schedule, and for His glory. Many of those who irritate us are simply being themselves; their personality just doesn’t mesh with ours. Sometimes we want them to change when we need to change. Often the things we require in other people are already available for us to enjoy, if we’ll just stop judging them. For change to be lasting, it must come from the inside out. And only the Spirit of God can bring that kind of change.