Renewing Your Attitude – When You are in a Rut
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think.
ROMANS 12:2 (TLB)
Renewing our attitude can be a lot tougher than many would think especially if you find yourself in the valley of pain and suffering. Stay there in the valley long enough and you may find yourself in a rut that seems impossible to climb out of.
I don’t want in any way to minimize or trivialize the deep difficult ruts in which people who are suffering find themselves. There is no doubt that adversity and stress rob us of some (and at times many) of the good experiences and enjoyment of life. But the fact is our attitude makes a huge difference in how we face life – especially when we are suffering.
If we are suffering a bad attitude can take us even lower than we are and who in their right mind wants that? On the other hand, it is wonderful to experience the amazing quality that a good attitude brings in the midst of difficult circumstances. The approach we take is up to us. Will we accept the adversity and face what we have to face or will we not accept it – fight against what we cannot change and make our rut even deeper and doubly more difficult to endure?
I have done both. At first, I was so consumed by my pain and suffering that all I could think about was my survival – not my attitude. I fought my adversity – I resented it. But then my burden was lightened when I learned that I may not have a choice about my circumstances but I did have a choice about my attitude towards my circumstances. And then I read …
“A cross which comes from God ought to
be welcomed without any concern for self.
And when you accept your cross this way,
even though it is painful, you will find that
you can bear it in peace. But when you
receive your cross unwillingly, you will
find it to be doubly severe. The resistance
within is harder to bear than the cross
itself! But if you recognize the hand of God,
and make no opposition to His Will,
you will have peace in the midst of affliction.
Happy indeed are they who can bear their
sufferings with this simple peace and perfect submission to the will of God!
Nothing so shortens and soothes suffering
as this spirit of non-resistance.”
FRANOIS FENELON, ARCHBISHOP OF CAMBRAI
There is no magic formula for renewing our attitude – at times it can seem impossible. But this I know – my first step was to accept my circumstances. I could do that because I trusted God with all my heart. I knew He was in the midst of my painful trial and He was trustworthy.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice
in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
PROVERBS 3:5-6 (THE MESSAGE)
On the Journey with You,