…But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:7-8).
Some people believe anyone who isn’t like them has a problem; they try to “change” other people or get them to measure up to their standards. Having pastored for so many years, I’ve learnt that you really can’t “change” anybody. The best thing is to see others the way God sees them; love them the way they are.
God didn’t ask us to change so He could love us; He loved us while we were yet sinners. He didn’t wait for us to become righteous first; He loved us the way we were and sent Jesus to die in our place.
If God didn’t wait for us to “change” first, before sending Jesus to die for us, then we must emulate the same in our relationships. This doesn’t mean we don’t need to make changes in our lives or expect changes in other people. The change we all need to embrace, however, is that which helps us become even more gracious; that which helps us become more and more of what God wants us to be: the expression of His glory, righteousness, and love. You don’t need to “change” your neighbours, friends, colleagues, spouse, etc.; just love them. They are all wonderful the way they are.
Read what Paul said: “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might, by all means, save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). That means he made adjustments to accommodate other people. That’s for us to emulate.
Remember, before he learnt that, he was trying to change other people. He was on his way to Damascus to “change” the Christians, when the Lord called him and gave him his divine assignment (Acts 9:3-5), to turn the Gentiles from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. But that was for a purpose; it was so the Gentiles may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance amongst them which are sanctified (Acts 26:18). It wasn’t so that He (God) could love the Gentiles more.
We can share God’s love His Word with others to help them become what God wants them to be, not what we want them to be.