All God’s children are more or less the same. In our flesh, we all sin. We might deal with different sins, and we might deal with our sins in different ways, but we are all sinning. No one is better than anybody else.
We will never change, either. Not on our own. But Jesus can change us. By running through us like hot water, He heats us up with the wisdom of the Spirit. We can’t change ourselves, but in Him, we can be changed.
And do you know what? Much as we might want to, we can’t change anybody else!
The urge to change other people can be very strong. It’s part of being human. Sometimes we get into the habit of thinking, “You need to change. I will change you.”
Let me tell you, you have no shot at changing somebody else.
That’s why you have to communicate. Suppose I notice that someone always reacts the same way to me, and it’s not a good reaction. In that scenario, two things have to happen. First, I need to get to the heart of why he reacts that way to me. There needs to be dialogue. If I have an issue with somebody, then I go to him about it. That’s Biblical. I tell him, “I’ve got this issue. I want to know why every time I do this, you react like that. Why?”
Maybe he’ll tell me! Perfect!
Second, I need to look at what he tells me. Is it necessarily the case that he needs to change? Or is it me? Am I the one that needs to make the change?
Think about that scenario! What if you were wishing that a person would change, when all along you were the cause of their frustration or anger?
If that’s true, then God will help you use wisdom to stop provoking him. Then maybe when you change, he’ll change too. He will quit getting angry with you!
Don’t be afraid to speak openly and have that dialogue with the people closest to you. In your most intimate or important relationships, you’ve got to be able to say, “Look, I understand you’re upset, but you have to help me understand why. Why are you upset with me?”
In your closest relationships, you can’t get along without that kind of communication. You’ve got a lot of people in your life. Obviously you’re more engaged with some than others. But with some, you are intimately engaged. You have to communicate.
Of course, you don’t always get to ask them why they are upset. Sometimes your loved ones hide it when they are upset with you, even when you’re depending on them to open up to you.
If my wife was frustrated with me and never told me, then how would I know to be changed by God’s wisdom? If she didn’t point out the places where she was feeling bothered, concerned, hurt, or angry, I might not realize that I need to turn to God for help. I depend on her to tell me when I’m upsetting her.
Of course some things are obvious! I’m sure your husband or wife is not thrilled about it when you yell at them. You don’t get to yell and someone and then say, “I didn’t know I was doing something wrong.” You know you did something wrong!
It’s the same with criticizing someone in a negative or non-constructive way. You know that’s hurtful. You have to take ownership of that.
But if you’re not aware of how you’re troubling someone, you depend on them to tell you.
Jesus sets the best example for how to be in a relationship. More on that next time. See you Saturday.