The following article was originally written by Danielle Beckstrom for LDS Living.
Daily personal challenges are common enough in our culture— things like negativity, doubt, anger, loneliness, jealousy, and selfishness. Despite their commonality, these trials can be the most dangerous and degrading to the soul. They wear us down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
I am not saying that we are to blame for every negative thing we face in life. But I am saying our attitudes and responses to adversity can lead either to intense satisfaction and lasting peace or continual dissatisfaction and discontent.
Don’t let your response to a trial prove to be the biggest trial of all.
There are several prevalent mentalities we see today that can lead to these challenges—things we must be aware of and strive to avoid.
1) Quick Fixes
Our society has become obsessed with the idea of quick fixes. Commercials always stress getting into your dream car, your dream house, and your dream body now—with no wait and nothing down.
This obsession with “today” and “right now” has made us conflate ideas of ease with joy. But there is very little about true, abiding joy that is easy.
Quick fixes cause us to miss the entire point of improving ourselves in the first place and put our focus on the wrong aspects.
For example, in our hurry to skip right to the results of eating healthy and exercising regularly, we forget that the entire purpose is to be physically fit, not to look skinny. Yet, we’ve twisted weight to be the focus of why we work out or eat healthily. As a result, we sometimes even make ourselves unhealthier—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It’s the same with spiritual principles. When we expect quick fixes from God, we miss the entire point of our experiences on earth. We begin to think life has to be easy or perfect to be enjoyed, and begin viewing it as merely another trial to get through. We forget the purpose of trials and challenges is really to create lasting change within us.
Elder Richard G. Scott tells us that “trials, disappointments, sadness, and heartache come to us from two basically different sources. Those who transgress the laws of God will always have those challenges. The other reason for adversity is to accomplish the Lord’s own purposes in our life that we may receive the refinement that comes from testing—they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.”
For Beckstrom’s full article, visit LDSliving.com.