Grace is for Me?(!)

Grace

A few weeks ago, I found myself word-vomiting (I hate that phrase, but what else do you call it?) all over my husband just before we turned out the lights on a Sunday night. I don’t even know what started it.

“I’m so tired of shoulds and ought tos and obligation and guilt. I hate going to church. I secretly love it when we’re so late we miss worship. I love Jesus, and I know the truth in my head, but I just don’t feel it in my heart. And I can’t say that out loud because I work at a church. What will people think? What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I feel like I love Jesus? Or my life? Or even just my job? People keep talking about grace and legalism. Legalism I get—I understand rules. It’s this grace thing I don’t get. It just doesn’t connect. What am I missing?”

That’s a paraphrase, but I think you get the idea.

I felt better just admitting all that, but I’m still wrestling.

The logical place to start was with those New Year’s resolutions I promised almost two weeks ago. I had it all planned out—I was going to read more books, run more often, and finally finish some type of Bible reading plan. It was going to be great—I was going to find some kind of link-up for each goal, giving me an endless amount of blog post ideas and helping me be a better person. Or something.

As I planned, I kept bumping into a tension between making my goals unattainable and making them so easy they wouldn’t be a challenge. I didn’t know it, but I was boxing myself in. After hearing multiple people talk about how resolutions are just a recipe for failure (and secretly thinking those people were stupid), I realized something. They might actually be right, at least this year.

If I was on a search for grace in 2014, there was no place for New Year’s resolutions. Or shoulds. Or ought tos. Or the expectations of others. Or dumb rules from myself. So I’m not making any resolutions this year. I thought about posting something cheesy like, “My resolution is to have no resolutions.” But that’s stupid. So I’m not. I simply have no resolutions because I don’t want to limit God and I don’t want to limit myself. And any time I think, “I should . . .” or “I ought to . . .” or “(Insert name here) wants me to . . .” I stop and reconsider. Is it something I really need to do? You know what’s sad? Most of the time, it’s not.

This whole thing has taught me something I never realized before—I don’t have a lot of grace in my life. I don’t have a problem offering it to others (some would say I have a mercy gift—I’d rather feel bad about something you did than tell you it made me feel bad and have you feel bad too. My husband just laughs when I tell him this.) But let me tell you—I have a really hard time offering grace to myself.

Maybe that’s why I don’t really understand God’s grace. It’s super easy to say I know Jesus died and forgave me of my sins when I didn’t deserve it, but I still struggle to understand the gravity of that. What does it mean? Why don’t I get it? What does grace look like in my life, aside from knowing I’m going to heaven and giving me a whole list of Christian-y things I ought to do because I owe it to Jesus?

I don’t know. But I’m trying to figure it out. I’m starting with books and sermons and talking to God.

In case someone else out there could benefit from them, here are some of the resources I’ve been using to figure out what grace looks like in my life . . .

(P.S. In the interest of teaching myself to have grace for myself, I’m not going to spend hours editing this post like I normally would. I re-read it once. This is what you get. And I’m not going to feel bad about it.)

5 thoughts on “Grace is for Me?(!)

  1. Pingback: 2015 | Editionally

    1. Sarah Post author

      Thanks, Lizzie. That means a lot. And I appreciate the recommendations – I’ll check them out.

  2. Michelle Griep

    What?! I’m supposed to edit blog posts? Failure!

    Seriously, though, I pray that this will be the year God blesses you with an outpouring of His Spirit upon you, which sounds all la-de-dah religious, but truly, will fill you with an abundant and real love for Him.

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