Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
What’s sadly amusing is that people (let’s be honest, it is each of us) who need to learn life lessons often do not believe they have a problem.
I heard a notorious complainer and backbiter announce that she had once attended a conference on negativity. One man struggled with coping and refused therapy. He had never entered a professional mental healthcare office, yet claimed it would not help.
Accepting life on life’s terms is tricky. Instead, we often try to control circumstances or other people, and strive for comfort.
Reputations, health, and safety are subject to events outside our control. No matter the wisdom or lack of sense behind our choices, good and not-so-good will result. Jesus said God sends rain on the just and on the unjust*. Life’s terms are reality.
Nonetheless, we have control over our behavior and responses. That is powerful!
I switched from railing against difficulties and fighting to improve the past, to focusing on changing me. Now a matured worldview, attitude, and belief system provide a deep sense of hope and purpose that eluded me before.
Do you see how far you’ve come since one to ten years ago? Change happens in truth. Honest introspection is not difficult. Simply by asking, “Why do I feel/believe/behave this way? Am I the person I want to be?”, your escape from endless cycles begins.
Relationships: No human loves unconditionally and no one stays forever. These are not true because people are uncaring, rather it is that we are fallible, and incapable of perfectly meeting another’s needs. These are life’s terms.
Accepting these terms allows for rejoicing at how many people care sincerely and imperfectly. Shared happiness and pain create a sense of community and personal fulfillment. This replaces the anguish of manipulating or insisting relationships match our design. Grace and freedom reign.
Circumstances: Events outside ourselves are often confusing and seem to have trajectories of their own. It is impossible to slam on the brakes and stop all the nonsense. These are life’s terms.
Accepting life’s terms means no set of circumstances has to complete our story. Looking for options and focusing on what is next, spares us from paralyzing fear and hopelessness. We can create, share ideas, pray, and involve ourselves in a message of hope.
Personal history: The past is full of regrets and “can’t believe I did that”. Consequences of poorer choices are not always avoidable. These are life’s terms.
Accepting those terms allows us to make needed amends, and jumpstart the present. How many of us would spend days hiding if we constantly stared at all our mistakes? Knowing the past cannot be fixed, we transfer energy toward influencing today for the good of humankind.
Salvation: No past choices determine our eternal future. Zero. Starting now, putting faith in Jesus means we can believe our gifts, strengths, and weaknesses have purpose in the hands of a sovereign God. He sees his beloved (if somewhat confused) children through eyes of forgiveness and delight.
These are His terms, for which we can feel relief and gladness.
Today’s Helpful Word
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.