Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. - 2 Corinthians 12:9
Having grace with myself is something I’ve always struggled with. I don’t like that I’ve made some big mistakes, and I beat myself up when things aren’t going right. I dream of a life where everything is perfect. But that isn’t realistic because we are all humans, and we all sin.
I think that there is a lot of pressure to be a “perfect” Christian. There is this expectation that we shouldn’t make mistakes, or that we should constantly be striving for perfection. Sometimes we think that when we become a Christian, we shouldn’t need God’s grace. Then when we inevitably make mistakes and fall short, we feel shame. But when we look in the Bible, it reminds us in Romans 3:23 that “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I think that this is a great reminder that we are only human and that everyone struggles with sin. I think that when we forget to give ourselves grace, we isolate ourselves. We begin to compare ourselves to others who seemingly have it all together.
Shame can be a really dangerous emotion. In my life, I have found myself caught in the cycle of feeling like my past made me an inadequate Christian. When I feel shame, I often find that I keep my struggles and sin to myself, and I don’t share with others or talk to God about them. Shame makes us feel like we are alone, and that we don’t deserve grace. One verse that I have used to remind myself that God gives me forgiveness and grace is in 1 John 1:9, which says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This is just a great reminder that nothing can stop God’s grace and love for us, and that we are never alone.
Through God’s grace we are made whole. We are enough because of Christ. It’s freeing to know that we don’t have to be perfect. Instead of focussing on perfection, I am actively growing in my relationship with God and getting closer to Him. He meets us where we are, so we don’t have to feel guilt about our past. I think that it is also important to remember that our standards are not higher than God’s. If He is able to forgive us and give us grace, we should strive to do the same for ourselves. This week I would encourage you to go easier on yourself, and let God’s grace fill you with peace.
1. What does having grace for yourself look like?
2. In what areas of your life are you feeling shame? How can you give that to God and accept His grace and forgiveness?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your never-ending grace and forgiveness. Help me to realize that I am not broken beyond repair and that I can give myself grace without feeling guilt. Help me share to share my sin and pain with others, so that I don’t isolate myself in shame. Thank You, God, for being so faithful and loving me with all of my flaws. Amen.
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