How can I accept ten unchangeable things that I did not choose?
There are some things about yourself that you can change, such as your attitudes, behavior, and personal neatness. You cannot change other things, such as your physical features, family heritage, and time in history. What you cannot change, you must accept as God’s perfect design for accomplishing His purposes for your life. “O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8).
God expresses Himself through His creation, so when you reject yourself, you are actually rejecting God and His work in your life. When you are frustrated with your unchangeable features, seek God’s wisdom to discern His purposes for these characteristics and choose to accept His design. Even the weaknesses, limitations, or difficulties caused by birth defects or the failures of others can be used as tools in God’s hands to achieve great things. As you accept God’s design, you welcome His work in your life and cooperate in fulfilling His purposes.
Self-acceptance requires faith and trust in a loving God whose plans and purposes are often far beyond your expectations. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).
God has designed your life with ten unchangeable characteristics:
God not only chose the father and mother who brought you into the world, He also fully understood the factors and circumstances that surrounded your conception and birth. Since the Fall of Adam and Eve, God has had to work through imperfect parents to accomplish His purposes in the world. Some of the weaknesses in your parents will be passed on to you. To compensate for this challenge, God provides special grace to deal with imperfections. (See II Corinthians 12:9.)
2. Physical Features
God prescribed all of your physical features before you were born—your height, voice, body build, metabolism, complexion, eyes, ears, hands, feet, and countless other features, down to the smallest detail. They are expressions of His love and creativity, and they are part of His purpose for you. (See Psalm 139.)
God created male and female and made a clear distinction between them. (See Genesis 1:27.) Wishing to be of the opposite sex will hinder you from accepting the God-given responsibilities He has assigned to your gender.
4. Brothers and Sisters
Accepting brothers and sisters involves accepting their personalities, abilities, and talents as well as their physical defects and failures. Through the relationships and challenges you encounter together, God will develop character qualities in your lives. (See Colossians 3:12–15.) If you do not have siblings, God will use other ways to build Godly qualities in your life and prepare you for the future. Loneliness can serve as a signal to deepen your walk with God and invest in the lives of others.
5. Birth Order
As you accept and understand the special characteristics, tendencies, and needs that relate directly to your birth order, you can avoid the destructive rivalry and bitterness that are so common in families.
Each ethnic group has a unique culture and characteristics, but these “races” are actually one “race” descended from common parents—Adam and Eve. Rejecting your ethnic and ancestral background will produce detrimental attitudes of either inferiority or superiority. Accepting your heritage will help you see other people as the special work of God’s design. (See Ephesians 4:4–6.)
7. Place of Origin
The place where you are from, either nationally or regionally, brings with it both benefits and limitations. It may include certain deficiencies that you must overcome. Understanding and accepting your place of origin can bring special opportunities to build relationships. (See Galatians 3:28–29.)
8. Time in History
Since God has a special purpose for your life, He has brought you into the world at just the right time in history to fulfill that purpose. To wish that you had been born in a different time is to reject God’s purpose for your existence at this time. (See Ephesians 2:10.)
9. Mental Capacity
God created you with the mental aptitudes and abilities that are best suited to achieve His purpose for you.
10. Aging and Time of Death
God created Adam and Eve to live indefinitely, but on the day they sinned, the death process began. Signs of aging are God’s reminders to make good use of the life span He has chosen for you. You can look forward to eternity with Him. Aging should motivate us to invest in the lives of others, such as children and grandchildren, by counseling and teaching them. (See Psalm 73:25–26 and Psalm 90.)