"Giving Yourself Grace When You Feel You Don't Deserve It"
Have you gotten angry at your spouse, again? Yelled at the kids yet again? Or cheated on your diet for a second time?
Perhaps you did something far worse than the scenarios above and you just can’t forgive yourself. You play mental tapes over and over in your mind what you did wrong and what a terrible, no good person you are. If you are a Christian, you tell yourself that you could not possibly love Jesus acting and behaving the way that you did.
But what if we understood that none of us are perfect and are all flawed human beings with weaknesses and bents towards certain sins in our lives. Without the grace of Jesus Christ, we are all just sinners who could possibly never save ourselves from our sin nature. Even after conversion in becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, we still have not obtained perfection. In fact, we are working towards sanctification daily, that means we are a work in progress.
If you look back on your Christian walk, you should see progress and growth. You may have a long way to go, but you are no where near the person you were before salvation.
- Why is it that we expect ourselves to be perfect and withhold forgiveness to ourselves when we are learning about the ways of Christ?
We stumble, we fall, but most of us do learn and continue to move forward.
- Where does the harshness come from to our own selves when we make a mistake, fail yet again, let someone down unintentionally, or sinned in the same areas we want so desperately to be delivered from?
- Ask yourself, is God that harsh with you? Does God condemn you when you fail or sin or does He forgive when you ask and says your sins are as far from the East to the West?
- Do you see God as a hard task-master and judge that shows little or no mercy when you sin?
- Are other people critical, negative or harsh with you and you internalize their beliefs about you as truth?
You may be like me; I want to do right but somehow, I seem to do the opposite of what I really want to do. The Apostle Paul understood this,” I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…I can will what is right, but I cannot do it Romans 7:14-15. Paul knew there was nothing good in his flesh (v.18), yet he knew that he had the Holy Spirit within him that enabled him to fight against his sin (v.25). Is that not what all Christians are like? How many Christians do you know never sins, messes up, fails, or is overcome with their shortcomings? It’s not the absence of sin that makes you right with God; it’s knowing the One who was without sin and took all sins upon Himself.
Paul also goes on to say in Romans chapter 8, that there is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit knows our weaknesses, what your particular tendencies are, what tempts you most, and what provokes you-and He is sympathetic. He does not join your condemnation but intercedes for you and for your deliverance.
If you are not able to receive God’s grace for yourself, you will not be able to give others grace. Giving someone grace does not mean that you never speak the truth in love to those caught in the vice grip of sin.
Giving yourself grace does not mean you habitually sin without remorse and repentance, as well as exhibiting pride for your sin. Grace says that you are a flawed human being that desires to do right, but when you do mess up, you have a Savior ready to forgive you.
Rehearsing how much you failed or screwed up again will not stop you from sinning again. Partnering with the Holy Spirit by repenting of your part and asking God to help you overcome your sins will be much more beneficial to you.