You Can't Change Others, But...

We all know how this turns out: we focus on the bad behaviors of others, try and change them, seek correction, and then get mad when they don't. We do this over and over again, hoping this time we'll get someone to change. The fact is, though, people won't change if they don't want to. There, I said it. You can call them narcissists, point out everything they're doing wrong, give them time, money, and anything else, but it's not going to change unless THEY want that change to happen. What is more, even if a person wants to change, unless Jesus is that agent of that change, their change will either be temporary, or a different kind of wrong. Heck, it's who I was before Jesus got a hold of me. All Too often, we're like 2 year olds: "I don't need dad, I can do this myself." Yet, one has to read the social media pages and stories of generations of people to find out that no matter how old we get, we just find different ways to show that we absolutely don't know what we're doing. The way we live our lives is like having a GPS without a sense of direction, we might have the map, but it's not really sending us anywhere. How often to we delude ourselves into thinking we or others can get better on our own? We use trophies to show how well we're doing "Look at my relationship, look at my kids, look at my job, look, look, look," but in the end, we all have to face that deep and biting question: am I living a life that means something? The only way for Life to have any purpose is to have the full and abundant life Jesus promises. If someone is not willing to accept this principle alone, they're not willing to really seek any lasting change whatsoever. It's why recovery groups all seek some sort of higher power, they know that to change, we have to seek after something greater than ourselves. What many get wrong is there is One, and only one, agent for change that can make a lasting impression. If you want to see things change, surrender to Jesus and let Him make the change. Otherwise, you're just wandering around in circles hoping for different scenery.

Romans 12 English Standard Version (ESV)


A Living Sacrifice

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]


Gifts of Grace

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.


Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.


14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written,


“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”


20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Footnotes:

a. Romans 12:1 Or brothers and sisters

b. Romans 12:1 Or your rational service

c. Romans 12:2 Greek age

d. Romans 12:2 Or what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God

e. Romans 12:4 Greek parts; also verse 5

f. Romans 12:8 Or gives aid

g. Romans 12:11 Or fervent in the Spirit

h. Romans 12:16 Or give yourselves to humble tasks

i. Romans 12:19 Greek give place





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