“You need to give yourself grace.”
… If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that, or something similar, I could afford some very nice gifts for my loved ones this year.
I don’t think there’s a harder gift for me to give myself than grace. Maybe you feel the same. Why can it be so hard for us to forgive ourselves when we feel we’ve messed up?
Personally, I struggle to offer myself grace because when I mess up, I want to make sure I learn from it. I constantly tell myself what I should have done differently or could have done better so that next time, maybe, I’ll get it just right. At the end of the day, it’s pride. I rake myself over the coals when I fall short—because part of me believes, if I really applied myself, I actually could do things perfectly.
I know how crazy that sounds written out. The moment I get that thought out of my head and actually see/hear it, I realize that kind of thinking doesn’t line up with reality. We all have lies that seem reasonable in our heads, but if we speak them aloud and share them with others, these thoughts often don’t hold up to scrutiny.
We all fail, fall short, and sin. It’s part of being human. Fortunately, God wasn’t content to leave us like that. Christmas marks the start of a story: God’s plan to make us all right with him through his Son.
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Grace is a gift we can give ourselves because God has already given it to us. If you’ve accepted Jesus as your Savior, that means the perfect creator of the world has already forgiven you of everything—past, present, and future. He offers us an abundant, limitless amount of grace, and we don’t have to do anything to earn it. We just have to accept it.
God has already forgiven you. He holds no mistakes against you. This Christmas season, amidst all the plans and stress and shopping, I hope you will take the time to accept the gift of grace that God is offering you, every moment of every day.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Where can you offer yourself grace this Christmas season?
How can you give the gift of grace to those around you?
The next time you find yourself struggling to show grace—to yourself or to others—pause, and remind yourself that no matter what mistake has been made, God has already forgiven it. There may still be consequences and next steps that can be taken, but when we offer grace to ourselves and those around us, we are able to take those steps and bear those consequences with mercy and compassion.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the grace you offer me. I know I could never have earned it; instead, you love me so much you sacrificed your Son so that I might experience your love and grace. Help me to receive your grace with humility, and to offer it compassionately to those around me. May your will be done in me and through me. Amen.
Read Luke 2:10-12 together as a family. Make Christmas cards for anyone in your life who might need a little joy today, from the mailman to the crossing guard. You could even add a gift card or small treat.
This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton is currently the apprentice copywriter at CedarCreek. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.
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