Thursday, March 22, 2012
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
During my performance review for work my boss commented that I do not give myself grace. When I take on new tasks, I don’t give myself time to learn, I just expect to be able to do it with excellence from the outset. She pointed out that everyone has learning curves and that I would be less frustrated if I just gave myself some grace.
For days now I have been thinking about what she said. When I evaluated how I did on my February goals, that thought was with me. When I taught my classes, that thought was with me. As I dealt with my family members, that thought was with me.
I even mentioned it to a friend and she said, “If we’re not growing in grace, we should be concerned.”
All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Although I still fully believe we should strive for excellence, because we are fallen beings living in a fallen world, we also need to exemplify God’s grace, the one thing that saves us from our sin. Grace is so intricately linked to forgiveness: we need to forgive our family member’s offenses, we need to forgive the disobedience of students, and we need to accept our own failures and seek to please the Lord by focusing on Him and not ourselves.
It’s so easy to get caught up in striving in your own strength, but it’s not fruitful. Allowing God alone to reign releases the Fruits of the Spirit within our lives – peace, gentleness, self-control, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. I'd rather be a picture of God’s grace versus one of my own excellence any day.
Lord, may you grow a spirit of grace in my life. May I fully realize your grace given to me and may I, in turn, offer it to others as a pleasing sacrifice to you. May I offer grace to myself, forgiving my sin that you have already covered. May I remember that I am being perfected in You, but that in this world and lifetime, I will not reach perfection. May your spirit of grace abound in me. Amen.