Jesus Didn't Change. He Changed People.
I am often reminded of a statement that I once heard, "Jesus didn't change. He changed people!" If we take time to unpack this verse it is filled with both wisdom and power. The wisdom found here is that we need to be like Jesus: constant, solid, steadfast. He was a rock, unmovable and unchanging. When insults were hurled at Jesus he did not retaliate. When he was mocked he offered acts of love in return. When untruths were voiced, he allowed God's word to be the last word spoken and not his own. You see, he did not change as a result of others' actions. Jesus was unchanging. His true character surfaced in each and every situation. He determined his response to the situation rather than allowing the situation to determine evoke a reaction.
I know this seems contrary to what our human hearts long to do but think about it. Are you normally an unkind person? Do you enjoy hurting others? I think not! So, why would you change just because someone else chooses to be unkind?
When you are hurt by others you have a choice to make: You can change and be unkind like them or remain true to our Christ-like character. If someone calls you a name, you can shout back or you can walk away. If you are ignored, you can beat down the fortress that was put up to keep you out or you can wallpaper that wall with "I love you!" sticky notes. Intentional hurts can be responded to with evil or kind words. The choice is yours.
Hurt inflicted by others' selfishness does not leave you without bruises and even open wounds, but it does allow you the opportunity to grow in character. Today you will no doubt encounter the brunt of another's unkindness or short temper allowing you to make a choice. Will you change your character and retaliate or will you remain true to your Christ-like character. Perhaps your unchanging character will win them over for the Lord. And therein lies the power!
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8