Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursdays- 2/7/2013- Grace

Grace is something I need to be thankful for every day. I have been saved by grace, and I am learning to extend grace to others. Somthing I just recently realized is: we can extend grace to ourselves.

The dictionary definition of grace is this: the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
Maybe our definition needs to be this: the free giving of blessings and/or forgiveness as the situation or person requires.

Perhaps you're like me, and not everything turns out exactly as you had planned. Maybe the peppers your family was looking forward to from the garden died in the drought. Or maybe dinner wasn't ready until MUCH later than you had planned. Did it take you longer than you thought it would to learn how to :_______ (blog, do taxes, sew on a button, iron your husband's dress shirt, finish the dishes, teach your child to read, etc?!?)

Extend a measure of grace to yourself. When we give ourselves grace we are NOT saying it is OK to fail or to be lazy. What we ARE saying is that we are works in progress. The apostle Paul reminds us in Phillipians 1 that "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." If Paul could realize that God is still at work in our lives, shouldn't I be able to realize the same thing?

When I extend grace to myself, I find hope to try again. Or, I find hope that there is another, better, God-ordained option for my life than the one I am currently trying. 

My life can be shallow, painful, bitter, and negative, BUT that is NOT the life I want to live!!! When I extend grace to myself (and others) I find a life that is full, joyful, filled with praise, abundantly blessed, full of healthy relationships--- THAT is the kind of life I want!!!

Today, if you are living what seems to be the shallow, painful life, extend to yourself some grace. It is often easier to extend grace to others, but we need it in our own lives as well. If God is willing to forgive you of your confessed sins and shortcomings, shouldn't you be willing to forgive yourself???

Choose to be thankful for grace. Choose to life the abundant, work-in-progress life!

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