Most days I just don’t feel like I cut it as a wife, mom, daughter and friend. Sure, I start the day with the expectation and intent to be the best in each of these areas, but then, everybody wakes up.
I’m nothing like the woman I imagined I was going to be during my time with God earlier that morning.
But life happens…children wake up and have to be parented, your spouse is not always going to agree with you, and you and your friend are not always going to see eye to eye…it’s life. And, we don’t always get it right.
Sure, there are those days when I do respond the loving way to my kids and family, but what about the days when ya mess up? How do you and I move past our imperfect human responses without carrying our past failures with us?
I wrestle with this issue of moving past my imperfections, too. I want to share with you three gifts that I’ve been trying to be intentional about giving myself, so that I will put down those failures and receive the freedom God has for me.
The first gift is,
- Give yourself grace…
When I say this I’m not taking about saying, “Well, I don’t have to change, I got grace.” That’s a misuse of grace. Grace is the supernatural help available to you, that comes from God to change you. Grace is the mercy God gives you in your circumstances so that you can pick your head up.
The next gift is,
- To forgive yourself
Do you remember what it’s like to hear a friend or loved one say, “I forgive you” after you apologize? The feeling of that relationship being set right, floods my soul with peace. I love seeing relationships restored, but when it comes to forgiving myself, I have the tendency to not be so understanding. I will beat myself up with “I knew better, I should have made a better choice,” and I tend to only give myself forgiveness if I feel I’ve really earned it.
If God has considered you and I worthy to receive forgiveness from all of our sins, why on earth do we think we have the right to make anyone, especially ourselves, earn forgiveness?
In Matthew 18:21-22 (TPT) Peter ask Jesus,
“How many times do I have to forgive my fellow believer who keeps offending me? Seven times? Jesus answered, “Not seven times, Peter, but seventy times seven times!”
I know when you read this, you typically consider the people in your life as the fellow believers, but what if Jesus was also telling us to consider ourselves as the fellow believer? Now imagine yourself asking Jesus, “How many times do I forgive myself?”
If we even considered forgiving ourselves, we definitely would try to put a number on it…seven times? But Jesus, says, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Meaning, not only are we not to set a limit on how many times we forgive or who we forgive, but Jesus is the one who sets the standard for forgiveness, not you.
Do yourself a favor, give yourself forgiveness.
The third gift you have to give yourself is,
- to know that your past failures don’t define you
This is a gift that you can use in every area of your life, not just on the days you fail in your relationships.
Kris Vallotton says in his book, The Supernatural ways of Royalty,
Failures we have repented of are no longer the standard that we must bow to. When we ask God and those we have hurt to forgive us, we were set back up to the high place God assigned to us. Otherwise the worst day of our life becomes the highest place that we have the right to lead others to. The truth is that forgiveness restores the standard of holiness in us and through us.
Forgiveness restores the standard of holiness. No longer do you and I need to believe that we own the label of “bad mom,” “bad friend,” “bad spouse,” that is not who God says we are. We have to renew our minds with the truth. He calls you forgiven, restored, redeemed, loved, empowered, holy and new. He says, “I love you, I made you, I’m proud of you.”
There are days I pick these gifts up and use them. Those days are lighter and easier to maneuver thru, but there are a lot of days where those gifts just sit there, and don’t get touched. Those days are rough and discouraging. On those days I’ve found that if I will just confess my struggle with those who love me rather than pulling myself up by my own bootstraps, I am always reminded of those gifts that are available for me.
There’s some gifts for you, sitting right there within reach, that are waiting to be opened, why don’t you just go ahead and open them and enjoy them.
Be blessed, my friend…