A few days ago, we talked about accepting people as they are and allowing them to change at their own pace. However, there was one critical component that we neglected to mention.

Whenever we ask someone to alter his or her behavior, we should recognize that change is not always easy or immediate. Oftentimes, we expect colossal leaps, and are disappointed when all we see are baby steps. Our disappointments are seldom embraced in silence. We usually let the objects of our disappointment know how much they have let us down. But if we knew anything about growth, we would know that growth is a process. Change in behavior could mean breaking down foundations that took years to develop. Our behaviors are often so embedded into our infrastructure that sometimes we don’t even know where to start to get back on track. The truth is, in order to progress forward, we often have to alternate between forward and backwards steps, and that is not easy. We should keep that in mind when we are in relationship with others. Regardless of whether someone else’s rate change is to our liking, we should give credit for progress. Even the slightest change could have taken great courage. Know that positive reinforcement is often a better effector of change than criticism or ridicule.

When it comes to experiencing change in a relationship, we should know that ultimately, it comes down to being patient with each other. We should know that none of us would be where we are if someone did not invest in us and allow us the room to grow.

Would you allow yourself to be patient with someone and allow them to grow? If someone you love is trying to make a change, but is still plodding along, encourage them. Congratulate them on the small changes you see. According to the old adage, “A little encouragement goes a long way.” You might just see that the change you desire is not so far removed once you start to acknowledge the small accomplishments.

Today’s Prayer:
Lord, we pray that we could learn to be patient with each other. Soften our hearts and allow us to view each other with a spirit of gratitude. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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