I’ve started to notice a pattern lately. It goes something like this:
Not so random stranger says, “Wow! You are so creative!”
I respond with, “Not really. I am just following a formula. It’s really simple…”
Family member says, “This meal is wonderful. You are such a great cook.”
I respond with, “I can’t take credit for this. It is all from Costco. All I did was combine a few different things…”
The All-Star moment is when I give someone a gift and immediately start a litany. “If is isn’t the right color, if the size doesn’t work or if there is something else you would like more, here is the receipt…” I did this just a few days ago and Mr D leaned in, nudged my shoulder and furiously whispered, “You didn’t even let them enjoy it for a moment before you started apologizing.”
That is just the external dialogue. Internally, it has been going something like this: “I can’t believe you said that! How stupid. You just appeared so arrogant. You were given such a gift and you blew it.” How about my favorite, “you really aren’t a good (insert anything here) because…”
All while this has been going on, I have been hearing a little phrase in my mind: “Have a little grace.”
Really, we are all champions of extending grace to others. When our kids forget their lunches, we bring it to them. When they don’t have gas in their cars and are running late for school, we let them borrow ours. When someone is late on a project, we even provide excuses for them and lend them some help. Girls, it is literally how we are designed–we are helpers. We extend grace to everyone…except ourselves.
You see, when Christ died for us on the cross, God fashioned a new pair of glasses. Through these lenses, we are clothed in righteousness and perfection. We are made new (2 Cor 5:17) and become the delight of God. Satan loves to come and smudge those lenses with our imperfections and failures so when we look at ourselves in a mirror we don’t see ourselves as God see us, but we see the distorted image. You know, the one that needs some apologies.
It’s time to clean those lenses.
Stop speaking negatively about yourself and apologizing for everything.
For he chose us in him before creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will–to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. Eph 1:4-6
If we are holy and blameless in the sight of God, who are we to view ourselves as anything less?
James 3:2 reminds us that, “We all stumble in many ways.” In the natural we are pretty imperfect beings. However, if we are to set our sights on things above (Col 3:2) and God has told us we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), we can understand that there is a constant battle between the spiritual (who God says we are) and the natural (the lies and manipulations of Satan). When we refuse to give ourselves a little grace, we are shortchanging the power of the cross. (That was pretty brutal.)
Let’s give ourselves a little grace.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
Today, let’s have a little peace with ourselves. Let’s sow some goodness into our own soul by speaking kind words to ourselves. Let us stop the negative thoughts and constant focus on our perceived shortcomings and just celebrate that we have been given such a beautiful gift from the Lord.
You know, let’s have a little grace…