A pastor was preparing a sermon to be delivered at his church the next day. His little boy would always come around to disturb him with some petty things. He tried to put up with the little boy. When he could no longer bear it, he thought of what to do. He sighted a sheet of paper in his study having the map of the world. He decided to tear it into pieces and give the boy to arrange. He thought the boy would take forever to fix it.

To his amazement, the boy was back in minutes, with the map of the world perfectly fixed. Out of curiosity, the pastor asked; “Son, how did you get it fixed in just minutes?” The little boy revealed the strategy; “I figured the shape of a man was behind the world map. I only needed to fix the man, and the world was fixed.”

Friend, you cannot change anyone. The person to fix is you, not the person you think is wrong. Most times, we waste precious time and energy focusing on changing others while neglecting ourselves. Like Jesus says; “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but fail to notice the beam in your own eye” (Matthew 7:3)?

You cannot change anyone. Rather, change yourself. Become what you are expecting from others. Jesus’ model of leadership and ministry is doing before teaching (Acts 1:1). Model change to your wife and children. Leadership is better caught than taught. Invest the same time and energy you use in trying to change others in changing yourself (1 Timothy 4:16).

Singles, don’t think of changing anyone in marriage. Don’t marry an unbeliever deceiving yourself that you will change him or her when married (2 Corinthians 6:14). Let them get properly born again and discipled before you commit. Don’t explain away a bad character. Allow God to change that person before proposals. Don’t attempt to change anyone. You are not the Holy Spirit (John 16:8, Acts 2:37).

A wise man once said, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Stop trying to change the world. I often tell young people that the greatest message they can ever preach is the message of their personal success (1 Timothy 4:12). Stop struggling to influence and impact people. Succeed with your life first. Influence and impact would naturally follow (Matthew 5:16).

Give people a chance to change. Stop forcing your ideas and opinions on them. No matter how you talk and shout, some people will not get it until they see things for themselves (Luke 15:17). Be patient with them. Create the right atmosphere that would make them comfortable around you. Don’t judge people. Rather, gently lead them and pray for them. With time and God’s help, we all will get better (Philippians 1:6, 2:12-13). Is this clear enough?

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria