God, Grace, Guest Blogger

Change them, Lord

EDITOR’S NOTE: They say great minds think alike. I don’t know about my mind, but it seems that some bloggers think alike as well. I was mulling a blog post topic about how some of us (me included)  spend useless energy trying to change other people. Then I read Patrick Hawthorne’s delightful blog post, “Change them, Lord”. I thought to myself, “This is perfect. I’ll publish Patrick’s blog post and I won’t have to write one on a topic he so masterfully wrote about.” Enjoy.

By Patrick Hawthorne
Blogger at Serving Grace MinistriesPatrick Hawthorn

“Lord,” whine…sigh…whine some more.  “Please change so-and-so because they are about to drive me slap up a wall.

“You change!”

“Who me?”

“Yes you.”

“Why do I need to change?  I’m not the one with the problem…they are.  Don’t You see what they are doing?  If You would just open their eyes to see that they have a problem…

“You change!”

Don’t you just hate it when the Lord expects you to conform to His righteous standards in the middle of a whine –eh’ prayer fest for another person?  I know, I know, your prayer was filled with good intentions.  You were simply trying to help your fellow brethren and sistren to not be conformed to the standards of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds to YOUR perfect will for them.

Well, it so happened the other day that I was piddling about with my daily job activities when I came across something that totally disgusted me.  As I was throwing my judgmental two cents into determining the cause of the problem, I realized I was just as guilty as the person I was lecturing…no, not to the same degree, but on a similar path.

Would you like to know what it was I was lecturing the person on?  It was clutter.  I was talking to a man and a woman who were facing possible eviction because they refused to rid their apartment of major clutter and it was beginning to affect their immediate neighbors.  As I shared with the man cleaning tips to help alleviate the problem, I saw my own pants haphazardly thrown on the floor because I was too lazy to put them in the laundry basket.  I saw my shoes thrown here and there because it was too much of a walk to make it to the closet.

The Lord, at the very moment I was in my “Holier –Than-Thou” zone, began to show me that many of my prayers to help others actually begins with me first helping myself.  You see, I have been on this kick, which I know is of the Holy Spirit, to write in a manner that will help the Body of Christ to wake from our slumber.  But, how can I help you to wake from your slumber when I’m still in bed myself?  Change me, Lord!

That very night, I went home and began my quest to de-clutter my home and my life.  Baby steps…Baby steps… Be blessed.

Patrick Hawthorne, a resident of Shreveport Louisiana, graduated from the Word of Life School of Ministry in 2002.  Several years afterwards he was given the privilege of returning to the school as an instructor.  Patrick has written two books, Great is Thy Faithfulness, A Modern Day Lazarus Experience, and Simply Grace. Patrick has been married to the love of his life, Kathy, for twenty-six years. Read more of Patrick’s insightful blog posts at SGM Serving Grace Ministries

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