(Originally Published 8/8/13)
We all have people in our lives that make us think, ‘They’ll never change!’ And it can be so frustrating. We watch them hurt themselves, others, and us over and over again by making the same mistakes.
They run into another new relationship even though we warn them this guy/girl is worse than the last one. We get into the same augments with our spouse over money when they max out the credit card again. We fight with our parents over the same old ground.
It seems like nothing we say or do can convince these people that they need to change. So we keep asking ourselves, ‘How can I make them change?!’
I have good news! There is absolutely nothing you can do to change them. People cannot change other people. They simply can’t. You cannot do the Holy Spirit’s job and unless He is working in them to change them, they will not change.
You can yell and kick and scream, you can go over old ground as much as you want, you can be as persistent as a door to door salesman and none of it will work.
Because you don’t know their heart, and it’s not your job or responsibility to change their heart, you have no control over their heart.
The only thing you have any control over is how much you will allow God to work in your heart.
So what are we to do about all the ‘sinners’ we know and love? How will they change without all of our helpful input, advice, and manipulation? What if they go down into the grave still struggling with that one sin that annoys us so much?
There is only one thing that we can do for them, one thing that we have any control over in their lives. And that is whether or not we choose to love them unconditionally.
They may never, ever change in that one area where we want so desperately for them to change and that might hurt us for the rest of our lives. But we have the God-given ability, through His strength in us, to love them through every annoyance, every slight, every hurt, every disagreement, all of it.
And God is ready to help us to do that. We just have to let Him love them through us. Once we accept that it is not in our job description or ability to change someone else’s heart, we will be able to stop killing ourselves to make them change and then we can just love them for who they are. When we learn to let go and love, we can walk in tremendous freedom.