Courage To Change The Things We Can

By Angie Lewis

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.

This is a very powerful statement and very good principles to live our life by, even if we don’t have a drinking problem. There are many things in our life, marriage, and our relationships that we would like to change, and we spend countless hours, and spend great amounts of energy trying to control and change people and circumstances.

Why are we doing this? Why can’t we just accept people for who they are and accept circumstances and outcomes how they happen? Why must we continually try and control what is obviously out of our power to change? Perhaps we aren’t asking God to help us with accepting some of the people we have relationships with. Maybe we have not put our faith in God to just let him control the outcome of circumstances. God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6


Perhaps we think we can control and manipulate our spouse, boss, friends and family. Maybe we think we can change them to be the people we think they should be for us. But all this does is cause strife and contention with the people were supposed to be loving and respecting. Have we prayed for God to give us the serenity to accept our spouse just the way he or she is? Or are we still leaning on our own understanding and wisdom?

Let’s ask God to give us the courage to change the things we can and accept people for who they are. Wouldn’t that be better? What are some of the things that we can change? We can change ourselves, and we can work at changing the outcomes of circumstances that we initiated. Anything else would be controlling, manipulating and abusing people to be what we think they should be.

Let’s pray for the courage to change what we can about ourselves; focus on changing the consequences of our actions by the spirit of courage given to us by God. All we have to do is ask. If we truly want to accept the things we cannot change we first must be willing to give up the control if it. We must acknowledge our Lord and place our faith in His promise for us and then we will be given the courage to change ourselves.

I thought, “Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.” But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty that gives them understanding.
Job 32: 7-8


Where does wisdom come from? Do you think wisdom is something we gain through the years or something we learn by just reading scripture? God says wisdom comes from the spirit within us. The Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ gives us the wisdom and understanding to know the difference between what we can change and what we cannot change. We can read about wisdom but it is a gift from God given to those who put their faith and trust in Him. God gives us the wisdom to know the difference. Can I change my alcoholic spouse and control their drinking habits? Can I make my adult child be a doctor instead of an accountant? Can I make my friends do what I want? We can try to control and change people in this way, but what is the use if it causes contention, bitterness and strife between us? That is not of God. These are the things we cannot change.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28


We must learn to acknowledge the things we cannot change so we can be free to love without control. For instance, we cannot make our alcoholic spouse stop drinking but we can change how we react to the alcoholic when they are drinking. We don’t have to enable him or her any longer; we can have the courage to change our behavior towards them. We cannot make our friends do whatever we want because that would be selfish and wrong. But we can ask God for the courage to change our feelings about the things we do with our friends.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

THE GIFT OF CHRISTIANITY

Christian gifts are sweetest when they are won with prayers and adorned with thanks.

Christian Resources

Search The Bible