Thursday, January 19, 2017

the challenge of showing love and grace, to yourself

Learning to have grace for yourself and others can be an ongoing challenge, especially when you were raised in an environment where perfection was the goal, where no efforts ever were good enough and where judgement was the lens that things were always looked through.
It can make you critical. Not able to see the beauty in the progress from where you started. It can make you feel less than everyone else around you. It can make you feel condemned, like a failure and destroy hope of ever being better then you are today, or were yesterday.
Sometimes you aren't sure how to create new patterns to break this cycle. Choosing to remember that progress is the goal, not perfection. Replacing those lies with the truth that Jesus doesn't expect you to be perfect, He wants you to be willing to grow in grace and knowledge. Learning to be open to making mistakes, not afraid of falling down, and choosing to look at them with a lens of acceptance of where you are today, right here, right now, will allow you to then step back and do the next thing to practice again. Releasing the tension of what you did, who you were in this moment, and how you want to be, instead focusing on the vision that He has for your life. Believing with all your heart that He has covered every mistake and that you have grace to begin again.
Don't get me wrong, I believe in working at a skill, your work, and in your efforts should be done with a focus to create improvement when you see it, but when we can't accept that we are a work in progress or that our results are not where we feel they should be, without putting condemnation and judgement on ourselves, we have changed the focus from accepting ourselves to criticizing ourselves, which will shut us down and not create love. Jesus accepts us and loves us right where we are, in our flaws that He is still perfecting, but He isn't holding it over us. He knows that He has created you in His image, so all He is asking is for you to come and seek Him and He will guide you through these changes.
When Jesus says that He will complete the work in you that He started, that tells me that the work is ongoing and that I am continually being shaped into the person He wants me to be. It is not a one stop shop, it is a lifelong venture into growing and changing and becoming who it is He wants me to be. It isn't something He expects me to jump into a mold and never need adjustment or to be perfect the first time.
In a world that struggles to show love, give permission, be non-judgmental, accept different perspectives or opinions, always criticized for our actions instead of appreciated, we can loose heart easily and become discouraged. Today, where ever you are, show yourself some love and grace. Jesus is. He wants you to be at peace, not strung out in anxiety and concern about what you said or did, but endeavoring to pursue the Fruits of the Spirit more deeply, here and now. That is all He is asking of you.
How will you show more love and grace to yourself today?
#TheSassyVoice #PursueGod #HeWillCompleteTheWorkInYou#ShowLoveAndGrace