Daily Devotion

You can’t change people

June 30, 2022

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Pr 13:12 NKJV


You say, “Surely a man or woman can change when they meet the right partner?” No. Only God can change people—and you are not God! Plus, when you “need to be needed,” it can cause you to make disastrous relationship choices in life. Perhaps you have heard stories of people who have experienced massive change through their marriage. But the truth is, the power to change must come from within the person themselves, not from you. When you try to change your spouse, it doesn’t work, and eventually your “hope” for change makes you “sick.” In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases Solomon’s words: “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick.” When you keep longing for and envisioning something that never materializes, you get heartsick. Then you start making excuses for what’s not working in the relationship, even as it becomes obvious to those around you. Sound relationship decisions are not based on hope. And add to this the fact that people of faith often try to spiritualize every issue. In the name of “faith,” they dumb down their instincts and ignore their senses. That’s not having faith in God! Faith in God should be just that—faith in God. We must not place our faith in fallible men and women, because they will fail us. God gives each of us a will, but He doesn’t force us to change. Change must come from within each of us as we accept the grace that God extends to us each day. “The Lord opened [Lydia’s] heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Ac 16:14 NKJV). Here is a better option: Pray for them, and let God change them!