Walking In Grace: Me, Myself, and I | Walking Worthy: Walking In Grace: Me, Myself, and I

Monday, June 10, 2013

Walking In Grace: Me, Myself, and I

Last week, we defined grace. This week I want to talk about living out grace with myself.

That may seem odd to you, but the Lord has put several women in my path recently that struggle to show grace to themselves. And I will be honest, I struggle with it too. My name is Ashlee, and I am a perfectionist. This means I have very high standards, this means I am very hard on myself. Even today as an adult verbal discipline is the hardest for me to receive. It crushes my heart for someone to tell me they are disappointed in me. And then I beat myself up about it.

 As I look at the young women God has placed in my life, I see they struggle with the same thing. I do not think this is something women struggle with alone, but it is definitely something the women God has placed around me struggle with. So how do we learn to walk in grace with ourselves?

Walking in Grace with Myself is NOT:
A free ride to live however I want. I see this often with believers my age, they think that because of God's grace they get a free pass to live whatever life they want. I have some bad news for them, this is not what the Word of God tells us. God is very clear in His standard for our lives. His standard is holiness. Peter reminds us of this in 1 Peter 1:15-16 “But like the Hole One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY”” Walking in grace here looks like me walking in obedience to who God has called me to be, while realizing I can only be that because of what He has already done for me. There is a dependence that I need here on God. Only by abiding in Him, do I have the ability to be who He calls me to be.

Seeking the approval of man over God. Yep, I am one of those people pleasers. I was a suck up in high school. I was that girl who did extra credit when she had a 4.0 GPA. Sick, I know. I continue to struggle with pleasing others, but this year God is reminding me heavily of Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still striving to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”  When God first brought this verse to my attention it grabbed me. It shook me. It reminded me that I am to strive to please God, because I am His bondservant. It also contrasted the stark reality in my life that I often care too much of what others say of me and too little about who God has already said that I am in Him. To walk in grace with myself, means I seek the approval of God alone.

Self Abasement. My Bible Study girls and I are studying Colossians. And it is AWESOME. As we have studied, this word self-abasement (Col 2:18) stuck out to me. When I looked it up in the Greek, I was surprised. Self-abasement is a lowliness of mind, specifically in Colossians it refers to a false humility. When I understood what this meant, a light came on for me. I have several people in my life who belittle themselves. Now, God calls us to be humble, but this belittling is not a Christ-like humility.  It is a belittling that sees one's self as less than and loses sight of Jesus' death on the cross. For me to walk in grace with myself has nothing to do with a false sense of humility, but has everything to do with trusting Who God says I am in Him (See Col 2 & Eph 2 for more on this). It means I do not walk around beating myself up or punishing myself. It means I submit myself as a bondservant of the Lord, not myself.
Learning to walk in grace with myself, is something I continue to struggle with. But when I do I must change my perspective by remembering what I see in Scripture. This is the only way that our view of ourself changes. I must view myself on God's terms. For me it's important to remember what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:10, by God's grace I am what I am. Everytime we struggle, we must return to the Word and see the Truth again. To help us cling to this verse today. I made this for you!
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