Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simple Grace - Week Three

How has your week been?  I hope and pray that you were able to take some of things that I shared here last week and begin to apply them to your life in the way that you treat yourself.  As I talked to a friend yesterday about how hard we tend to be on ourselves, I shared with her that when we treat ourselves poorly,  it devalues the Cross and that it's an extension of unbelief.  Which can be hard to come to terms with.  I don't think that any believer would say that they don't believe.  I think that we take our belief for granted and when the rubber meets the road, we need to evaluate the depth of our belief.

To break that bold statement down a little let's look at the Cross.  When Jesus died on the cross for us, He did so for the purpose of forgiving our sin and inviting us into an eternal life with Him.  In that action, Jesus said "You Matter", He offers us forgiveness, mercy, grace and love.  So, when we don't give ourselves those things, we are really refusing to take the gifts that Jesus died to give us.  AND we're are saying that even though He did those things, they really aren't meant for us, OR that we somehow would rather be our own judge and don't need what He provided in His death!!

I don't know about you, but when I see it put that way, it changes my perspective on how I need to treat myself!  I struggled eight years ago with post partum depression and it really made me look at how I treated myself.  I had set these ridiculous standards on myself for how I lived, what I accomplished and what people would think of me.  It was a devastating way to look at my life.  Through many tears, a lot of pain and God's Grace, I have been able to lower those ridiculous standards without compromising my beliefs, ideals, ideas or desires.

I still have to give myself permission to accept God's grace....when I make a mistake, or I don't accomplish what I "think" I should accomplish.  I've learned and really am still learning to trust God and open myself up to His grace....realizing that that is exactly what is waiting for me.....Grace.  Not some heavy hammer that is going to pound my failures into me, not some disapproving judge waving a ruler above my head to gauge the level that I've accomplished or failed at.  I, with the enemy's help, was the only one who ever did that.  Jesus has only ever offered His grace and mercy.

Last year, my phrase for those troubled times, became "Just Breathe".  In those moments of pausing and taking a breath, I was able to diffuse the situation that seemed to be reeling out of control. By breathing in God's grace, I was able to breathe out the chaos and the lies.  This week, I want to challenge you to do something.  Are you game??  Well I'd like you to take notice of the moments that you don't accept God's grace, and maybe write them down in a journal.  Noticing is the first step to moving forward in a healthy relationship.....with yourself and with God.  If you are really game, the next step would be to trace the lies that attach to the moments.  Why, in that moment, are you not accepting Grace and being so hard on yourself?  After that you would want to seek God's word to find a truth that combats each and every lie that you feed yourself!

This practice will transform the way you treat yourself, the way you look at Jesus and ultimately, it will transform the way you treat others.  Which we should be talking about next week, unless I need more work on giving myself Grace!!!  Which could happen, I pray that it doesn't....but you never know what  a day holds and we always have a choice!!  Here's to choosing Christ in all situations!!

Go forth in His Grace <3 Lorraine

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