We have a good friend who is a worldwide minister, and years ago when his daughter was in her late teens, she allowed her life to get off course. She started staying out all night and living a partying lifestyle. Her father was always stern with her, and when she would come home late, he’d be there waiting just to lecture her. This went on month after month, and it didn’t seem like anything was getting better. As a matter of fact, things were getting worse.
One day the father was praying and said, “God, when are You ever going to help me with my daughter?” He felt God speak to his heart and say, “I’m going to help you as soon as you start loving her.” The father replied, “God, what do you mean? I do love her with all of my heart.” God said, “Well then, quit harping on her, quit threatening to punish her, and start showing her that you love her.”
From that day forward, this father never said another harsh word to his daughter. He started telling her, “Honey, I love you. I believe in you. I’m proud of you. I know God has something great in store for you.” He started speaking words of blessing over her life, and when he changed his approach, she changed her response. It didn’t happen overnight, but over several months, this young lady totally turned her life around. She rose to the level of what he spoke over her. He brought change into their relationship by doing things God’s way which set the stage for a miracle.
Do you need to see change in your relationships today? Let it start with you. Ask God to show you how your words and actions can influence the people around you. Whether it’s a child, friend, spouse or coworker, remember, you always have influence.
Take a moment right now to think about the way you communicate with others. Are your words uplifting, motivating? Do your actions communicate love and acceptance? Remember, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance and draws us to change. If you’ve been sowing seeds of criticism, condemnation and disapproval, start sowing seeds of life, grace and encouragement. When you change the seeds you are sowing into your relationships, you’ll change the harvest you are receiving. Just like our minister friend, as you start loving in new ways, God’s love will shine through you bringing the restoration, hope and change you’ve been longing for in your relationships.
by Victoria Osteen