Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The only person you can change...

...is yourself!  And honestly, it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to do that!

How many of us are trying to change the people around us?  It's exhausting work, isn't it?  We're aware of idiosyncrasies, blind spots, bad patterns, and sin in those closest to us and we feel obligated to point them out.  After all, we want them living in freedom, right?  And we're only trying to help!! (wink, wink)

But let me tell you a little secret.  They're not going to change because of you.  In fact, you're probably only hindering the change that does need to take place.  And you're trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit.  God seems to take His hands off of the situation just so you can see what you can do.  And in my experience, that's been a big fat zero.

So...instead of trying to change everyone around you, step back and take a look at yourself.  The only person you can change is YOU.  And the only adult person you're responsible for is you.  (Because training and teaching children is a given.  And it may be that as women we get in such a teaching mode with our children that it carries over to our husbands and anyone else we're around.)  And I've learned that as I allow the Holy Spirit to change me, it begins changing situations around me.  I respond differently which causes those around me to respond differently.  And pretty soon, we've all changed.  (But of course...my motive has to be pure and my eyes have to be on myself only!)

Have I got this down?  No.  It will be a process the rest of my life.  Because God is gentle and longsuffering--He only changes those things to which we give Him access.  And it's a challenge to let go and give them to Him.  Open your heart today and allow the Great Physician access with His scalpel.  He'll cut away things you never knew were there.  And He'll show you what you're truly responsible for...yourself.  No one else.

"Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]."  Romans 12:2

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