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Accepting, loving, changing lives...
Written By Bobby Schuller
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." -John 13:34-35
There's a basic rule in sports. Don't tackle anybody who's wearing the same colored jersey that you're wearing. Yet, in our marriages, many times we're destroying our own teammate by trying to change them into something that we want them to be.
Research shows that the more you try to change someone, the more you criticize and challenge them, the more they dig in their heels and they try to justify whatever or whoever they are. It also shows that the more you can be accepting of another person, the more that you can show them love no matter what, it actually frees them to make the changes that you would really like to see made.
So, we're going about it in exactly the wrong way. Rather than pray, "Oh God, please change that other person," it's better to pray, "God, please change me into a person who accepts this other one, no matter what." Extreme makeovers need only be made on television and in houses. They don't work in marriages.
Prayer: Dear Lord, you are the only one who can change people from the inside out. Please help me to help you by loving others, forgiving others, encouraging others just as you do for me every day. Amen.
Devotion: Have you ever tried to change another person? Have you ever tried to just love someone with God's love, despite wishing they would change? Which of the two techniques was the most successful in helping that person to improve his or her self?