Expecting more out of people than they’re able to give will hurt your relationships, not help them. People need the freedom to be who they are. That doesn’t mean they don’t need or want to change. But nobody appreciates being given the message, even subtly, that they must change in order to be loved and accepted.
We’re more likely to change for those who are willing to accept us with our shortcomings, than for those who demand we live by their rules. Even when we think we’re hiding our disapproval, people still feel it. It’s in our voice and body language.
Prayer is the greatest agent for change, not pressure. If we truly love people we’ll pray for them and allow God to work on them His way and on His schedule. Many of those who irritate us are simply being themselves; their personality just doesn’t mesh with ours. Sometimes we want them to change when we need to change. Often the things we require in other people are already available for us to enjoy, if we’ll just stop judging them. For change to be lasting, it must come from the inside out. And only the being connected to the Spirit of God can bring that kind of change.
The above devotion was written/compiled from multiple sources by Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities and used here with permission