Monday, August 8, 2016
Accept and Accepted
Hello everyone. It has been a while since my last posting. A lot has been going on here, including preparing for vacation, yard sales, and house projects. Let's see how this post will turn out.
I have been involved with Celebrate Recovery as a Men's Small Group leader for that past 4 years. We meet weekly and have a large group worship (Music, lesson or testimony), and a small group share. We close our large group with the Serenity Prayer. Part of the prayer goes like this:
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage the change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference."
So, what have I learned to accept in my life. That is not an easy question, because at age 50, I am still discovering things about myself. Once you realize that you can never escape yourself--that you are always with, well, you--it changes your perspective.
Here are some things I have come to accept. Some of these things I cannot change. Others, I will need courage and God's help to change. Can I gain the wisdom to know the difference? That is the question.
-I accept that I am an only child and grew up selfish. That I never learned to interact with a brother or sister, so sharing was something that I did learn how to do very easily.
-I accept that my family of origin shaped me into who I am for better or worse.
-I accept that I am not easy to get along with. That my behavior in the past has alienated me from developing close relationships. And even though I would like to be included in activities with other married couples, I may be the one that affects that decision.
-I accept that God came into my life at age 17, and radically changed the trajectory of my life. This influenced my decision to attend a Geneva College, and be active in the churches I have attended ever since.
-I accept that my shortcomings during my first marriage contributed to an eventual divorce. There were many factors on both sides-however, I was able to persevere thanks to God's grace.
-I accept that I made mistakes as a father to my (2) children. However, it is never to late to change them. I also accept that I did many things right, and continue to develop and maintain a relationship with them.
-I accept that I am not working at where I want to be, but that God has me there for a reason and his timing is always perfect. He is allowing me to provide for my household and blended family.
-I accept that I am far from a perfect husband. I have many issues to work out, and will continue to do so. Thank goodness for the Grace that God provides each day.
-And I accept that God is not finished with me yet. That I am running a race that will not be completed until I leave this world when he calls me home.
Well, that was some list. After all that, I often think "Can anyone accept me for who I am?" Thank goodness I have an answer of YES. And you do also. That answer is God, through his son Jesus. He accepts me for who I am, in spite of myself. In fact, we loved me before I was even born. He loved me so much that he died for me, and for you. The neat thing is that God meets us where we are, in the condition we are in. We don't have to change. Our desire to change and be more like Him happens when we receive him in our life.
It is am amazing feeling to know that God accepts me and does not stop that acceptance. His Grace is poured out daily, and his love covers a multitude of sins. If you have a down day, or feel like giving up, remember that God loves you and accepts you for who you are, and that will never change.