Test yourself before you read this piece by thinking about how you think about those you would like to see change. If your motives and practices are wrong, the change you hope for probably will not happen.
- Are you impatient toward the person you want to see changed?
- Are you frustrated, critical, un-forgiving, bitter, or fearful about the person you would like to see changed?
There are more questions, but these attitudes are enough to help you assess your heart about those you care about and want to serve. If any of these things are in your heart, then the first thing you need to do in order to help them to change is begin changing yourself. You need to learn how to more effectively cooperate with God in the transformation of others.
Ask the LORD to help you to follow Paul’s advice (1 Thessalonians 5:14) by carefully considering the people you are motivating to change and how you are motivating them. They are not like you. They are different from you and it would be helpful to understand their differences in order to adequately come alongside of them.
A case study
Joe knows how to get things done. He is a successful guy. His reputation and business is well-known in his community. People like him and come to him to learn the secret sauce for his success.
On the surface there is nothing wrong with what you see in Joe, but once you begin to look a little deeper, his secret sauce is not something you want to partake. Joe is a controller who demands his employees do things his way.
His methods work because his employees need a job. They are willing to put up with Joe as long as they are paid well. Joe keeps churning along, raking in the dough. Though he is a “success” on the business front, he is a frustrated and unsuccessful husband, father, and friend.
The methods he implements in his home do not bring about the same results. His preconceived ideas of who his family members should be are not being received well because they are more forced than nurtured. This confuses Joe because he knows he is right; he