Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Give Yourself a Little Grace

We sat in the dark hospital room; the heart monitor beeping; Griffin sleeping on my chest. The terrifying moments of uncertainty had passed. Griffin was safe, calm, and breathing comfortably. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about the previous two hours. I started to blame myself for feeding him something that could hurt him, for not knowing he had a nut allergy, for not doing my job of being a mom perfectly.

Many of us fight this battle. We feel like we need to be perfect. We need to be free of mistakes in order to be good enough. There are many days when I am overwhelmed by all of the ways in which I could be judged as imperfect--my appearance, my organization, my mothering, my friendship, my housekeeping. The list could go on and on.

Maybe for you it started in elementary school. You want to please your teacher and your parents with good behavior and good grades. Any grade below an A feels terrible and any behavior that leads to reprimand feels catastrophic. In high school, the worry and expectation becomes driven by friendships, boys and appearance, often on top of concern for excellent grades. As adults, this perfectionism can manifest itself in some of the worst places--relationships with people we care about most and the workplace.

If the Lord is our God, however, we do not need to be driven and controlled by our impulse to be good. He tells us that all men fall short of His glory. We all need to be forgiven and molded. We all need grace. If the God of the universe is willing to give us grace, I think we need to give ourselves some, as well. We are, after all, works in progress.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

1 Corinthians 1:4-7 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge--because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.

Isaiah 64:8 Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

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