Apr 102016 0 Responses

Embrace the Bad Days

Life is going to have bad days. It’s guaranteed. Try as we may to avoid it, many of the sorrows of life cannot be bypassed.

Some can. Many of the bad things people experience are a result of their own poor choices. We should avoid these. We should make wise choices, seek good counsel, avoid stupidity, and do everything in our power to prevent bad things from happening to us.

I often say life is hard enough, don’t make it harder. (See: An Ever Changing Grief)

I often pray for my children, “Lord, don’t let their bad choices be too costly.” (i know they will make some bad choices; I just pray the consequences of those choices won’t be too much.)

But no matter what we do, bad days will come.

  • We will make bad choices–no one is immune.
  • We will suffer because of the bad choices of others–whether they mean to hurt us or not.
  • We will experience the negative consequences of living in a fallen world.

When bad days come, we should embrace them.

Embracing the bad days doesn’t mean we like them. It isn’t calling for a stoicism where we are pretending like nothing is wrong. We aren’t seeking martyrdom.

To embrace the bad days is to:

Understand they will come. My kids don’t yet understand bad days are guaranteed. They are surprised by them. They think something must be done to fix them. They will learn. Bad days occur. They are part of life. Mature thinking knows the rhythms of life include ups and downs. By knowing bad days are a part of life, we aren’t caught off guard when we are sad, experiencing grief, or not feeling well. When we don’t expect bad days, we can feel overwhelmed when they come. Knowing they are a part of life, lessens their impact. (See: What the Smartest People Rarely Know)

See the potential in them. Instead of avoiding the bad days, we can lean in to them because they serve a tremendous purpose. Personal and relational growth are far more likely in the bad days than the good days. Much like muscle is built when it is stressed, our character has the opportunity to grow when we are challenged. Marriages, friendships, and work relationships have the chance to deepen through the hard times. Rough days don’t guarantee growth, but they do provide an opportunity for growth which good days do not provide.

Recognize better days are ahead. By understanding bad days happen and by choosing to grow through them, we can realize that bad days are not forever. While we can’t avoid them, we can shorten their length. By embracing them, making wise choices, and handling them properly, we can lessen the duration of bad days. By recognizing good days will come again, we are empowered to endure the bad days. We can persevere through pain if we know the pain will not last forever and it will have a purpose. (See: What to Do When Life Falls Apart)

Every day I interact with people in some of their worst days–the death of a loved one, a terminal diagnosis, job loss, divorce, the moment their great shame has been revealed, etc. In those days, the person feels overwhelmed. Some think their lives are over. Others can’t imagine ever smiling again.

But I know–because I’ve watched many people endure the same situation–that there is still much life to be lived. For some the path is longer than it has to be, but for many, they navigate through the tough days and emerge on the other side with a stronger character, a better resolve, and a deeper appreciation for the good moments.


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