Bitterness and resentment will only distance you from My love. A resentful and angry spirit will always develop when you are unable to move past the moments of life that seem unfair and unjust.
~ In the Presence of Jesus by Paul Bane and Matt Litton
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
– Hebrews 12: 15
Accepting Life as it is (rather than how you would like it to be).
We naturally resist the things that we don’t like in life. We push back against anything that causes us to feel uncomfortable or makes us feel out of control. However, when we resist what we can’t control, we create unnecessary conflict and suffering for ourselves. Our minds are programmed to avoid or fight back against anything painful or uncomfortable. So instead of accepting and acknowledging the natural challenges of life as they come to us, we constantly engage in battles trying to change what we don’t like. (Calming My Restless Mind)
Pain, illness, and emotional, physical, and even spiritual challenges are part of life. It is natural to get caught up longing for a moment of smooth sailing. Accepting that life has its difficulties does NOT mean resigning ourselves to hopelessness or abuse. Acceptance also doesn’t mean that we should embrace, agree with, or condone the obstacles put in our way. (Mind Your Mind)
Acceptance means that we truly release our resistance to the things that we cannot change. This acceptance helps us embrace a new perspective on our problems and respond differently. Instead of judging or blaming others for our situation, instead of denying our challenges, acceptance empowers us to move forward.
The Serenity Prayer, written by Reinhold Niebuhr, is a perfect starting point to accept life as it is and not how you would like it to be: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
This week be honest with yourself: Are there things you need to accept that are out of your
control? Try to focus only on what you can control and take steps to move forward.
Take comfort from the truths found in the serenity prayer.
Live one day at a time, enjoy one moment at a time, and accept hardship as the pathway to peace. Take, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as you want it to be. Trust that God will make all things right if you will surrender to His will. Amen.
Co-writer Matt Litton