Grace, Not Perfection!
Many of us grow up in an environment that lauds perfection over all.
I know you know exactly what I mean…
Come with me, and let’s explore this deeper!!!
We may get our validation through good works. How many of us are “trophy” wives/husbands/employees; adult versions of the “trophy” children we once were: taken out and dusted off to be shown off when we do something well?
What happens when we exhibit less than model behavior? Sadly, we are taught we are not deserving of praise, we are not even worthy of being noticed. Our self-worth and identity then becomes wrapped up in external validation ushered in by our own perfection. We learn that as we are incapable of sustaining perfection, we are incapable of remaining worthy.
A lot of times that spills over into our spiritual walk.
Again, I know you know this perfectly well…
We are good Christians when (insert any favorable action here) but undeserving of God’s love when we don’t do all He commands.
Ah,my friends, that is the devil working his way to separate us from the all-encompassing validity of God’s grace.
Sure, Paul reminds us in Romans 8:38-39 that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. That is an absolute truth. Still, many things can make us THINK that God’s grace is not sufficient for our multitudes of sins. Because the world operates on a ledger system (you have to put in in order to take out), we assume we have to do something to earn grace.
Thank God grace is, in fact, unmerited favor!
Allow yourself time to let this take root…
We didn’t do anything to get it and subsequently don’t lose it because we’ve been bad children. (There are consequences to actions, of course, but losing God’s grace isn’t one of them.)
“It is by grace you were saved through faith, and not of yourself.” – (Ephesians 2:8.)
This is when we start to shrink on our walk.
Are you still with me?
This is when instead of boldly going forward we are tricked into thinking that someone who “messed up” as badly as we did could not possibly be qualified to talk about God’s power to transform lives.
Except, THIS is when we absolutely need to talk about it. See, now our story has moved from “because of God, I no longer do this particular thing,” to “because of God’s grace, I am forgiven of this particular thing”.
This is true…
Our emphasis shifts from us to God’s all-encompassing grace. We can declare at the first acknowledgement of our sin, “This is why Christ died for me.”
Let us not be discouraged when we fall. Let us not slink into despair and allow the devil to cause us to doubt our place as children of God. Let us remember God’s grace is sufficient for you, for me, and the guy next door.
We are a “crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God” – Isaiah 62:3
I thank you Father, that through your son Jesus Christ I can live in this truth. I am replacing all lies with your eternal truths about who I am in you.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me to process this and show me exactly what needs to change for me to be totally free from perfection and accept Grace for what it truly is.
Father I thank you and I am placing my life in your capable hands.