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grace

It’s OK to Give Yourself a Little Grace

You’re doing better than you think…

The criticism we heap on ourselves is often worse than any criticism we receive from others. We want to be the perfect husband or wife, the perfect parent, the perfect person. We long for the unattainable goal of perfection.

But we find ourselves making mistakes. We use bad judgement. We fail. And, sooner or later, we must face the truth: We aren’t perfect.

When someone else makes a mistake or fails, we are inclined to offer grace, understanding, and encouragement. But when we’re the ones who messed up, we can be very hard on ourselves. Instead of beating ourselves up, maybe we need to give ourselves a little grace.

It’s OK to analyze our mistakes. We can almost always learn something from a mistake or a failure. But it’s not OK to be so hard on ourselves that we doubt our worth, our purpose, or God’s love for us.

Romans 8:1 says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” We are free from guilt. We are forgiven. No punishment awaits us. We have been set free—free from shame, free from guilt, and free from the tyranny of our own thoughts.

God’s love for us is unconditional. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us. He loves us so much that he calls us his children—his sons and daughters. We are heirs of God’s glory. God isn’t disappointed in us when we mess up. In fact, he isn’t even surprised. His grace, mercy, and love are abundant, and they don’t disappear in the midst of our mistakes.

In God’s hands, our mistakes and failures do not equal defeat. They are just another step on our journey. “The steps of the God-pursuing ones follow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord, and God delights in every step they take to follow him. If they stumble badly, they will still survive, for the Lord lifts them up with his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24). We may fall down, but we won’t stay down. We may stumble badly, but God himself will lift us up with his strong hand.

Friend, you’re not perfect, but you’re perfectly loved. Your mistakes and failures don’t define you. You have permission to give yourself a little grace. You’re doing better than you think. Let go of those things that are behind. The past is past. Instead, reach for your future, confident of God’s love, goodness, and faithfulness.

Dear God, I’m amazed at your great love and forgiveness. Thank you for forgiving my sins, mistakes, and failures. Help me forgive myself. Give me wisdom to learn from my past and then to let it go. In Jesus’s name, amen.