Accepting We Cannot Fix or Change Someone

fixThe desire to fix people or circumstances is strong, but Karlton explains how we must surrender this to the Lord.

“The priests agreed that they would not collect any more money from the people and that they would not repair the temple themselves” (2 Kings 12:8).

Over the years I have had to accept the reality that I cannot fix anyone. Not my mother, brother, sister, wife, child, or friend. Only God can fix people, and He can only fix them if they allow Him to do so.

Human pride, stubbornness, willfulness, arrogance, the absolute unwillingness to change within a human heart cannot be overcome by our desires and wishes no matter how strong or intense our feelings may be.

People will treat us badly, at times because of our illness and disability. Some people, perhaps friends and family, may treat us differently or dismiss us from their lives because of our illnesses and the way our illness now limits our abilities and interactions with others.

It is painful when what is so clear to us completely eludes those in our lives. Yet we must accept that we do not have the power to change the actions and reactions in others. Most of the time we have our hands full just trying to have some measure of control over ourselves and our own life.

When people around us behave badly toward us, especially when it involves our illness and disability, it can make us feel like we have been stabbed in the back, it can cause resentment, and can make us bitter. But the good news is with God’s help we can choose how we act and react despite the bad behavior of others.

It is humbling and yet freeing to realize we cannot fix or control how others act and behave. Accepting and acknowledging what is beyond our control allows us to focus upon the things we can control. When we allow God to deal with the people and problems around us, we can truly focus our limited energy where it will do the most good.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we want to fix people and situations, yet there are some things we can never fix. Help us to let go of what we cannot control, and to change the things we can control in the best way possible with Your help. Amen.

About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He has had to learn over the years to let go, and to give control of people and situations into God’s capable hands.

Do you sometimes wish you could fix the problem people around you? Have you asked God to take control of situations only He can control?

Have you ever had a troubled relationship with a friend? This is a great song with Brandon Heath, “I’m Not Who I Was.” I think you will find something familiar in the lyrics because we have all had those friendships with the ups and downs. I love some of the Christian music today that puts so many feelings into the lyrics. Bless you. -Lisa

One thought on “Accepting We Cannot Fix or Change Someone

  1. I’ve reread this article several times now. It’s encouraging, in a sad sort of way, to know that I am not alone in hearing insensitive remarks. I had extended family at my home for a week & experienced an emotional battering that I am still recovering from. I know better and yet expect more from Christians.However, their remarks are among the most cruel. “There is some kind of payoff in being ill.” “You need to repent of _____.” “You need deliverance.” “This could be a result of your Grandfather being an American Indian.” It puts the burden of illness squarely on my shoulders as if I have caused it.

    I believe that these insensitive comments are intended to divorce the speaker from any perceived expectation of emotional charity. If they negate our illness & make it clear that they have no understanding or compassion, then nothing can be requested from them. Not empathy. Not assistance. Not a listening ear. They don’t have to feel uncomfortable. What can be asked of them after any of the statements from above? To clarify where I am coming from would mean that I need to defend my right to be ill. I would also need to justify why I have not tried any of their ‘fixes’.

    Dwelling in the land of the Chronically ill can be a very lonely place.

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