Day 216 - Others Need To Change

Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

—ROMANS 12:16

 

Often we see irritating behavior in a mate, a friend, a coworker, or a child. We point it out, either covertly or overtly, in hopes of seeing what we believe is a much-needed change. If change does not come, irritation gives way to resentment. We blame the person for purposely continuing to do what we dislike, just to annoy us.

Here are two things to keep in mind when examining the behavior of others. First, one of the things that makes ALMI discipleship different is that when discipling someone who is discouraged, we emphasize gifting rather than understanding. I go into each session with an empty bag, knowing I can only give as He gives to me. Every morning I have asked God for the gifts needed so His people are filled with the Spirit, are in fellowship with the Son of God, and are living in His presence. In this context, the one thing for which I constantly beseech Him is discernment, to save time in getting to the deepest level of need. I say this because on occasion God has revealed a problem to me He did not want me sharing with the person who had the problem. Why? I believe the problem I was seeing was way down on God’s priority list, and, as with 

Why? I believe the problem I was seeing was way down on God’s priority list, and, as with everything God reveals to us in the fullness of time, with eventual revelation will come His power to overcome it. I have never grown bored with the Christian experience! I believe His work will continue throughout our lives. Are we willing to wait for God to reveal a problem in another’s life and bring His healing? I am not talking about outright sin, but rather the annoying mannerisms and characteristics of others. Rarely will any person change for another man, but will, in the light of His love, drop everything that hinders in order to lay hold of Him. Not being able to rest and wait on God for the changes in others brings us to our second point. Often we want others to change for our own comfort, to make life easier, to free us from our struggles; we want them to be loving toward us when offended, to meet our needs, to allow us to be spiritual. When this is the case, the other persons’ problems are exposing more about us than them, revealing how we have placed ourselves on the throne and how our happiness is more important to us than God’s work or His satisfaction. God will in no way allow our revelation of another’s problems to bring us freedom.