The Courage to Change the Things We Can

I really appreciate The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:


"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.


"Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen."


When we take time to reflect upon this prayer, we realize that there are some things we cannot change, such as the past, other people, our family, many circumstances, and some other things. What we can change is the way we respond to everything that happens.


When something unfortunate occurs, we can respond by being inactive, reactive, or proactive. To be proactive (the best choice of all) takes courage—the courage to change the things I can. It's not a matter of asking, "Why did this happen?" but of asking, "What can I do?" or "What must I do now?"


This kind of courage requires both faith and love. It also requires wisdom. The Apostle John wrote, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment" (1 John 4:18). Courage is not the absence of fear, but it is faith in action. It is resistance to fear that will eventually lead to mastery of any given fear.


What can we change? John Wesley put it this way: "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."


If we do these things, we will become agents of change in this needy world, and we can be sure that God will make all things right if we surrender to His will.


May you be encouraged to change the things you can.

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1 comment(s) posted.
Norma on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 12:13 AM EST said:
Nice to read your blog
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