Are you a Perfectionist?
Perfectionism rarely works out for the carrier, and I've been a bona fide perfectionist way more than I've allowed myself to just live and let live.
As freely as God's grace is given is about as hard as it's been for me to receive - but that's an exaggeration... because grace, even in its smallest form, is still much greater than my occasional inability to simply exhale & take it all.
That's right, I said it - Sometimes the faucet gets clogged. My relationship with grace is not always a free-flowing exchange... At my worse, I get around to admitting I'm absolutely going to NEED it once I'm all internally stuffed up. And sometimes, instead of trusting God to meet me where I am, I extend myself FAR past the honorable "faith and works" deal. I get really tired - and when I come up short (according to my personal, perfect standards), I'll feel bad.. Yup, I feel bad. And feeling BAD... is not it!
" His Burden is Easy & His Yoke is Light"This small truth is a consistent smack in the face to us strivers out there --- this small truth is what serves sabotage on all the pressure we put on ourselves to get it all right, all the time - first try - no excuses. Jesus says, "Come all you who are weary," not "Come and get weary trying to impress me, yourself, and everyone you meet." GRACE. It's ours. Jesus paid for it. We don't have to get on without it. WHO gets on without GRACE? We're never at the mercy of our own minimum (or maximum), failing (or successful) efforts, and contrary to what they tell us in nursery school, the wheels on the bus don't always go 'round & 'round. God sustains, we maintain, and we're still here. That is the work of GRACE, my friends.
It carries us over the bumps that are our own imperfections and keeps us. It meets us where we are and takes us to where God intends to teach us.We are never on our own, and we don't have to "get on" without grace... mainly..... because we can't.
GRACE.It's Christ who enables us. Only His strength and His touch would make any of our efforts worthwhile... Only Christ can work all things, our best and worse - out for our good... So why do we pressure ourselves trying so hard to keep a good handle on all of it? And why are we mad scientists in the laboratory of life... obsessively checking the levels of success and failure in hopes of keeping everything "balanced?" Who are we to say what we can't afford to experience? What catastrophe do we call ourselves preventing by avoiding risk? What good for others are we preventing by failing to follow through on things that are in our hearts to do, and, whyyyy, am I asking all these questions?
Well, because it's 2016. Sweet 16.In less than a week, we'll be in the last month of the 1st quarter and I'm going to just take a leap of faith and ask if you've been working on your resolution. Within this leap, are my hopes that I'm not offending you with the question. What did you say this year would be for you? Whether it be for your spiritual, relational, emotional, physical, or professional growth.. Have you felt the task to be "too daunting"? Are you avoiding it altogether? Have you started? Say this with me... No fear - GRACE.
You can start.
You can start again.
You can start a million times and you'd never be alone in the process.
But this time, don't stop. If you're waiting to be ready, you won't be.
Forget the PERFECT conditions.Don't stall. Don't paralyze your process. Stop with the lists of what's gotta get right and what hasn't. We should be learning from our mistakes instead of refusing to make any. WE GET to work through the kinks and the time will pass anyway.
Just like America runs on Dunkin, you run on GRACE.I used to think that if I wanted to inspire, I had to be absolutely inspired myself, all of the time. Then I realized I was human. And then I realized my life must be lived in acts of faith.. ducks in a row all the time, or not. Shortly after that I realized there was GRACE. And shortly after that, I realized inspiring others is exactly what motivates ME. As you continue to walk out 2016 know that you can ask for God's grace to pursue because you're more than welcome to it. You can ask for God's grace to PERSIST because He doesn't want us weary while doing well. GRACE that enables, strengthens and sustains is yours. GRACE that makes up the difference & GRACE to attain - that too, is yours. As I challenge myself, I challenge you . Take a few steps outside of your comfort zone. His strength is the perfect match for your weakness. Rest assured, child of God, that it is exactly there... right where you start and right where you end, where grace begins.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10:
Concerning this (my WEAKNESS, and the constant reminder of it), I implored the Lord three times that it (my weakness, the reminder of my frailty) might leave me. And He has said to me, "My GRACE is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of GRACE, that we may receive mercy and find GRACE to help in time of need.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this GRACE in which we now stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And I am confident that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.