(Courtney’s Notes from 2018, Andy Stanley )
I believe that people change.
But I don’t believe that people change people. And I don’t believe that people change for people.
People change themselves.
People change themselves WHEN they get sick and tired of themselves, WHEN the pain of staying the same is too great to bear or WHEN there’s a goal so enticing that it draws them away from what and who they used to be.
That’s when people change.
Now you might be thinking, hold up Courtney – God changes people. And you are correct! God’s word says it and we’ve seen it with our own eyes. We’ve seen God take people from lost to found, from darkness to light, from sin to righteousness and we stand in awe of his work in their lives.
And so we pray, “Lord, change my loved one.”
And we can pray that over and over and over but that person has a will. And they can choose to rebel and push back against God changing them. And so a life change will only take place when that person wants the change and when a person is surrendered to God.
When a person is completely surrendered to God — God changes them from the inside out. But God does not change people against their will. They have to want to surrender to God and be changed.
So are you waiting on a loved one to change?
Pray the above quote over their lives.
Pray that they get sick and tired of the way they are living and that the pain of staying the same would be too much to bear and that that would lead them to crying out for help – whether that help comes through turning to God and his word, a pastor, a wise friend or a counselor.
And while you are praying and waiting – work on yourself.
Are you fearful, angry, critical, or always reacting too quickly? Work on that – find scripture or listen to sermons on how to handle your fear and anger.
Or perhaps you are the opposite – maybe you are too too accommodating and passive? Work on that. It is not selfish to speak up. It is healthy. If you are called difficult – take that as a compliment – that means you are learning to share your opinions and feelings just like everyone else does and that’s okay!
Are you bitter? Work on that. Do not let bitterness take root in your heart.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.Hebrews 12:14-15
As you wait for your loved one to change, trust in the Lord, be strong and work on the one person you CAN change – yourself.
Stay surrendered to the Lord and keep walking with the King,