We are taught to extend grace to others but have we forgotten to show grace to ourselves? ◡̈
Often we spend a lot of emotional energy feeling guilty about our everyday lives, and/or about certain things we have done in the past. Sometimes it may not even be things that we have done, but the blame and guilt we have placed on ourselves for certain events of the past.
Guilt comes in so many ways, for example:
• Beating yourself up for past choices, mistakes and imperfections
• Feeling like you will never be good enough, or you can never do enough
• Saying 'yes' when the best answer is 'no'
• Comparing our journey and progress with others
• Thinking about the 'what could have been'(s)
But did you know? Guilt is not from God. God doesn't condemn us. His holy discipline and kindness lead us to repentance. His lovingkindness embraces us. He doesn't want us to stay in guilt. Jesus paid it all. We need to move forward with His love and forgiveness.
Grace will take you places that hustling can't. Very often, we are trapped in this cycle of perfectionism that leaves us defeated. We need to accept God's grace for the everyday activities of our lives, and we need to learn to give grace to ourselves as much as anyone else. Grace opens up the doors for us to truly grow and flourish. We can't bloom under pressure and sometimes, plain hustling is just pressure.
So how do we extend ourselves the grace we often give others?
1. Remember that grace was already given to you.
God has already given us grace upon grace, and it's a constant everyday thing. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, it says: And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. When we are weak, He is strong. He works in our weaknesses, in our brokenness, in all of the tiny little cracks of our lives. He already knows we are not perfect, but yet He loves us anyway with unconditional love. In our weaknesses, His power is made perfect.
2. Progress is greater than perfection.
Progression is measurable. Perfection is unattainable. It is not easy, for sure, but let's aim to throw perfectionism out the window and be content with ever-growing progress instead. Remember that it is progress that counts! Who we are tomorrow is better than who we are today, even if it's just by 0.0005%. That's still better, that's still progress.
Our prayer for you today – God, we thank You for being a God of grace who always leans toward us with arms full of love, ready to give Yourself to us if we will just receive. We pray that You will teach us to extend grace to others AND ourselves. Help us to reach to You and receive the grace that You freely offer. Show us how to receive grace for ourselves and turn away from the unrealistic pressure that we have placed on ourselves in any area of our lives. Amen.