It’s a hard reality to accept that some people will not change. And expecting things to be different only leads to frustration. While difficult, we must focus on the choices we can make.
When faced with an immature, unhealthy, or outright toxic person who will not change, we can:
- Choose to leave things unchanged
- Seek to remove ourselves from the relationship, or
- Discover how to change ourselves within the relationship.
Not changing is an option. We can simply resign ourselves to the belief that this is as good as it gets.
And even when the relational atmosphere is unpleasant, to say the least, not changing allows us to remain in a situation that is known and “comfortable.”
The downside is that we become victims of the relationship – passively allowing it to happen to us.
Another option is to remove ourselves from the relationship. This is not the first step to take, but there may come a time after thoroughly addressing an issue to walk away.
The relational cost of this decision is very high. It not only impacts the two of us, but likely has a ripple effect into our entire community as well.
With the counsel of many advisers this can be a wise and faithful choice.
Our final option is to change ourselves within the relationship. And this might be the most difficult path of all.
For instance, like Hosea, we might allow this relationship to be the context in which we practice and demonstrate unconditional love.
On the outside, things may appear exactly the same as the No Change option. But there is a profound difference within.
Rather than merely being a passive victim of the relationship, we now in faith make an active choice to love.
Each option comes with a cost and must be carefully considered. And while there is a time to wait and not immediately seek change, faith does demand our active participation.
All the same, you don’t have to grow frustrated trying to change the other person. Focus on the choices you can make.
Count the cost, and in faith, choose wisely.