Giving yourself grace isn’t always easy.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to be very hard on myself and I beat myself up a lot (metaphorically, obviously. Seeing me actually beat myself up would be a sight to see now wouldn’t it). When I mess up, feel like I’m not doing enough, or maybe even too much, I am never very kind to myself about it. I never intentionally do this, but as humans I think its common for a lot of us. We strive for perfection when in reality we will never achieve it and we try to do things all on our own which never works out, lets be real. We immediately turn to scolding ourselves rather than going to God and allowing ourselves to receive His grace.
In Mark 9, a father brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus’ disciples who are unable to cast out the demon. They fail because the disciples try to cast the demon out, without asking for God’s help. Sound familiar? Most times this is what a lot of us do. We try so hard to cast out our own failures, our sin, and the messiness of our hearts without asking for help. Just as the disciples did, we underestimate the power of evil in the world and in ourselves. We don’t see how weak and proud we can be. Whether we want to admit it or not we need help from the Father. We need His grace. If we could all heal our own hearts and not depend on Jesus, our pride would know no end. We are all sinners and we all mess up, whether they’re things that seem huge or just a little stumble in the day. But the beautiful truth is that everything we struggle with in our lives are things that God wants us to hand over to Him. Its good for us to realize that we are broken and weak and He is strong. When you are stuck in deep waters He wants to be there to pick you up and rescue you. Jesus could have told the man in Mark 9, “I am God. Do not come to me with doubts and imperfections. First rid yourself of all sin and impurity and then I will heal your son.” Praise the Lord that He doesn’t come close to saying that! Instead He says “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened. Do not be dismayed, I will give you grace and healing.” Isn’t that incredible? In no way do any of us deserve Gods grace yet time and time again He still gives it to us, wholeheartedly, because He just loves us that much. True grace is being able to confess when we fail and leave it with God. Its allowing Him to change us while we simply rest in His love. To leave to God the work of making our hearts beautiful while we focus on and enjoy the sweet relationship we have with Him. That is grace.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Truly giving yourself grace isn’t about giving yourself anything. It’s about being open to His grace and fully accepting it, not just for the big hurdles, but for the tiny every day stumbles. An important thing to remember though, is that we should not abuse Gods grace. Although we all are messy, sinful people that receive Gods grace, it is not an open invitation to keep sinning. In Romans 6:14 it says “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” That verse specifically tells us that we cannot go back to sinning again just because we have now been saved by God’s grace. His grace is sufficient and we could never earn it, but oh how blessed we are that everyday He continues to pour it out onto every single one of us. Stop dwelling on the imperfections and start giving yourself just a little more grace. Rest in the Father and realize that He made the ultimate sacrifice and died for our sins, so we could receive grace and forgiveness and have life. Stop trying to handle the problems on your own, accept His grace.
With love, H.