God gave us a spirit not of fear
but of power and love and self-control.
—2 Timothy 1:7
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
With these words, Reinhold Niebuhr zeroed in on two issues that all of us face: things that cannot be changed and things that can be.
Some things can’t be changed, no matter how much we wish they could be—things that Paul Tillich described as “what we come up against and have to adjust to because we realize they will not adjust to us.”
On the other hand, some things can be changed: for instance, things about ourselves that keep us from being what we should be. It takes courage to admit faults and make changes—but with God’s help, we can do it.
Accept what cannot be changed
and courageously tackle what can be.