#lovelikeJesus: Can you love him even if he never changes?

Many years ago, I was ministering to a person and he wasn’t changing as fast as I wanted. Quite honestly, he wasn’t changing at all. Nothing I said or did seemed to make a difference. Then I received a call that he was in the hospital. He had an addiction and frequented the hospital. That was it! Not again. I was done. I got in my vehicle and headed to the hospital to give him a piece of my mind.

I was on Wilson Street preparing my scolding when I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Kevin, WHAT are you doing?” I immediately knew I was in the wrong.  

Then He spoke again saying, “Can you love him even if he never changes?” Wow! I wasn’t sure. I was so frustrated and done. I knew I had less than a mile and only a few minutes to decide. I parked and walked toward the hospital doors. As the doors opened, God’s timely interrogation changed me. I realized I was no different than the addiction that was trying to control him. I realized I was trying to make him change more for my sake than his. I was tired of repeating myself, tired of “wasting” time, tired of not seeing progress, tired of fooling with him.

God made me a better pastor that day. I wasn’t safe before. We are not safe for the people we lead if our motivation is self-serving and our methods controlling. The shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11

Is there anyone in your life that you need to love even if they never change? I’m not saying to stop telling them the truth, or stop praying for them, or stop reaching for them. You may even need to back away for a season. I’m just saying that we can’t make people change. It doesn’t work that way.

Fast forward to today…This person still has not changed but I can love them now, regardless. What about you? Can you love your person even if they never change?

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:7-8