Mahatma Ghandi said,
Be the change you want to see in the world.
I would add you must also be the change you want to see on your job, in your family, in your marriage… in all your relationships. I am the only person in any situation that I can control. Yet many mornings I awake asking God to change my situation, or better still, to change the other person, as if they are the only one with a problem.
In the book, “The Power of a Praying Wife” the author writes that while the other person can be completely wrong, off base, and most in need of a change in heart, God wants us to focus on who is most willing to change. Willingness to change is what I believe Ghandi was talking about. We are powerless over what others say, think, and feel. But we are in control of ourselves. We don’t always have it together. We get it wrong daily. We very often contribute, even if only in some small way, to the circumstances with which we are most displeased. And the reason we want to ignore all this is because of pride and anger. To admit we are wrong or have in some way contributed to our own displeasure is painful to say the least. It takes a great amount of humility and brokenness to come clean about our own responsibility in the situation. Rarely in any conflict or disagreement is either party completely right or completely wrong. But pride tells us to shift the blame, focus only on our hurt and pain, and play the victim.
I’m guilty of this – allowing my hurts and pains to take control of my life too often. Quite frankly, I can’t recall when this has ever been a good thing. Until I decided to confess and rid myself of the bitterness and resentment in my heart, it was difficult to for the situation to change. In Psalm 66:18,
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
Iniquity is defined as the hidden sins of the heart – the junk we pretend isn’t there but is slowly poisoning us and the people around us. For example, have you ever met a woman who was salty and moody all the time!? Always has something sassy or sarcastic to say. After being in her presence you just feel bad! The Bible calls her a “contentious woman.” A woman like this often has such anger, bitterness, and resentment tucked away in her heart it takes such effort to maintain a relationship with her. The same goes for men. Ever meet a “grumpy old man”? The name says enough.
If I am praying about my situation, but not owning honestly and transparently the part I played in the situation, God says He won’t listen to me. Well, if I can’t fix the other person, let alone myself, I need God to hear every righteous request I make.
The truth is no one is without need to change. We can always improve and become more Christ-like. The Bible reminds us that we are being perfected until the day Jesus returns. So it’s pretty haughty to proclaim that we are never to blame. We are to be reconcilers of the breeches in our relationships, and whoever is the most mature is supposed to take the lead.
Here are some simple ways to take the lead for positive change in your relationships:
- Accept the reality that you could be wrong. Face it, God never promised that you would be Ms. Wonderful all the time. Contrary to popular belief, you just don’t know it all. Mature women own when they are wrong, apologize sincerely, and make the necessary changes.
- Yield and submit to God’s plan for change in your life. The situations we face are not always the enemy fighting us. God uses all situations to bring us to a point of maturity. Be willing to allow God to show you yourself through every trial. Truth doesn’t always feel good, but mature people are willing to face it no matter how much it hurts.
- Exercise wisdom and make realistic decisions that are best for you. The Serenity Prayer says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.” The only one that can change the heart of a person is God. If you are married to or dating a “project,” STOP IT!!!! It’s prideful and insane to believe your love is so good that it can change another person’s will and desires. People will always do what they want to do, not what you want to them to do… don’t you?
- Show grace to others, as God has shown grace to you. Grace gives us the space we need to grow and mature. It prevents us from being condemned every time we sin. God’s mercy has kept us all from the true punishment of sin, death! If God spared you from death from some of the most heinous acts in your life, why can’t you spare someone else from your personal wrath over a disagreement? Every battle is the Lord’s not yours.
- Commit your concerns to prayer. The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. (James 5:16) Prayer changes things. Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8) The battles of your life will always be won on your knees before you see the manifestation in your life.
The best thing any person can do for their relationship or situation is become the healthiest self they can. When everyone is striving to be their best and to become more loving toward others, who loses? My question to you is: Are you willing to be the change you want to see in your life?wordpress plugin immediately!