The Desire to Change

(Originally written, March 2003)

A few weeks ago, I noticed a dangerous pattern in my life. I am sure it has been there a long time, both in those around me and in myself, but I have never before noticed its destructive nature. It shifts one’s focus from others to oneself. As it evolves, one moves from being the creature to the creator, from enjoying the beauty of a scene to changing it to conform to his viewpoint. I am speaking of the practice of seeking to change others – to mold them into one’s own image. It is based on the belief that if someone acts or thinks differently from me, they are not only different – they are wrong and need to change.

The fact is, each of us is created in the image of God. As soon as He created each person, He destroyed the mold so that we are all unique. Everyone in the best state brings a fresh original to our world. Many of us have similar temperaments or personalities and are able to identify with each others like us; yet the people we live, work, and play with have various gifts and talents different from our own. We were created to be dependent on one another, yet have a self-destructive desire to be independent and self-sufficient.

Perhaps even some of you have had this same response to the pressures of life. Have you ever tried to bring a child “under control” so that they could learn to be like you; have you tried to get your spouse to “finally see the light” and think like you, or talk a friend into “doing it your way”? If we focus on the weaknesses of those around us, we will live unhappy lives. It is only as we see others as God’s unique creations, identify their strengths, and become thankful for their contributions, that we find true life and compatibility with those that share it with us. We then can get so busy serving others that we forget to change them!

The next time we get the desire to try to recreate the person next to us, let’s shift our focus back to ourselves. First try the most difficult task on this earth . . . self control. Once we are able to discipline ourselves, practice self-mastery, restraint and “denial”, then we can serve the needs of others. Life does not need to be a bitter struggle of trying to change the people and circumstances around us, but can be a blessing as we allow those same people and circumstances to make us the person God desires for us to be.

Enjoy the differences,


“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.”

Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)


About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

One Response to The Desire to Change

  1. Thanks Kent for sharing your heartfelt wisdom. This message reminded me of the divine advice for treating others found in Luke 6:27-38. Bless you and all your loved ones. I am praying for continued improvement in your health. Chaplain Steve.

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