It was my mum who taught me how to bake – growing up at home we nearly always had baking in the cupboard, thanks to her. In the same way that mum and I use a recipe to make a cake or cookies, I used to think that a recipe of sorts was required to help people grow.
I assumed the role of Baker and thought, if I just followed the right recipe I could help someone grow. I thought, if I just had the right ingredients, change would happen in someone’s life.
If I encouraged them at every opportunity;
Affirmed the good I saw in them;
Shared with them helpful books and resources;
Became a good friend or role model;
Pushed back on and challenged their ideas, gently;
Spent enough time together;
Opened up the depths of myself to them;
Then they would change, grow, mature, fly.
But I’ve learned that the problem with assuming the role of Baker means I assume responsibility of the growth of another.
Assuming the role of Baker means I believe I have control over someone else’s growth – progress is attributed to my good efforts and setbacks mean I must’ve done something wrong.
In actual fact, the only person’s growth I’m responsible for is my own.
These ingredients are good and worthwhile things to do, but they don’t guarantee growth in the life of another. I can do a lot for and with other people, but at the end of the day, the growth of an individual is in their own hands.
I now believe that a person changes when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.
I am learning to see potential as potential, not as a promise.
I am reminded to consider the amount of time I spend with others, for the sake of being an influence of change, knowing that without a doubt becoming like those we hang out with works both ways.
I need to accept what I can do and leave what I can’t.
I might even go as far to say, I don’t even believe that God changes people.
I believe people who are willing chose to respond to God, who brings change.
And that is the key ingredient to change; themselves.