In The Serenity Prayer column each month we are studying this well-known prayer phrase by phrase and applying it to our life today. These columns will be published the first Friday of each month in 2019.
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.
wisdom: knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgement as to action, discernment or insight; knowing what is right and doing it.
Feelings are our worst enemy.
When we come to the decision point described in The Serenity Prayer asking to know the difference between things we can change and the things we can’t change; often our emotions blur the process. Our feelings often keep us attached to people, things and behaviors long after we should’ve let them go.
Where can we get the wisdom that we need?
Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10) So if we start by having a holy reverence for God we’ve made a good first step. James tells us that if we need wisdom to ask for it. (James 1:5) It seems pretty basic and simple. Our biggest challenge is to put aside our pride and ask!
How do we know we have wisdom?
There are several characteristics of wisdom we can look for in our life.
…the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. ~ James 3:17
Let peace be the ruler of your heart.
When we’re at a decision crossroad, we can filter our process through the character qualities James teaches us. We can be gentle, showing no favoritism, yielding to others when necessary. Walking in mercy, compassion and sincerity we can prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us with the peace ruling our hearts.
When in doubt do without.
For many years this has been my life motto. When shopping for groceries, buying a car, or taking next steps with important decisions… I stop and check the peace in my gut. If I don’t have a peace I won’t go forward. If there is any doubt at all, I will wait. It’s better to wait than to rush and make what could be a costly mistake.
The Spirit of Wisdom.
As Christians we have within us the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit that created all things is available to guide and direct us in our daily lives as we follow the peace.