Living Set Free

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Do you know what I hate?  I hate failure! But what I’m coming to realize is that I hate my definition of failure.  Failure in my eyes doesn’t make me a failure in God’s eyes. I need to learn how to rest in that.  Tripping and falling does not disqualify us from a race. It is when we get stuck in the fall, that we stop running.

If our treasures lay in our successes, then every opportunity is just another chance to fail.  If our treasure is in Jesus, then every opportunity will be victorious, because He is the victory!

We can hold on to this even if we are in the midst of the valley.  Our adventure awaits, sometimes because of the valley. Do we really want to be held back from our adventure because of the fear of failure?

My nine year old is an adventurer at heart.  He loves a big challenge. He climbs trees, roller blades, hikes, bikes, jumps, and does anything that makes a “good” mama gasp.  However, in the midst of his thrill-seeking he tends to get ahead of himself and trips and falls a lot. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times he has missed the first step going into our house because he is rushing to get to his next adventure.  He does fall a lot, but I have never seen him hold himself back because he might fail. He just hops back up on those roller blades and tries to jump off that curb again, or climbs that tree from a different angle. I am so inspired by this. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and think, “I could have done a lot of risky and adventurous things, but at least I didn’t fail.”

Extending God’s Grace….to Ourselves

Jesus gives us grace upon grace upon grace…why, then, does it feel so hard to give grace to ourselves?  Just like my little buddy, how are we brushing the dust off and trying again, or getting up and facing life from a different angle?

In The Soul of Shame, by Curt Thompson, MD, he reminds us that when Jesus says, “Do not judge or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1), that also includes judging ourselves.  We are not the judge, so we can’t condemn ourselves.

Some of my most frustrating days were early on in mothering when I judged myself so severely for everything I did “wrong” and every time I “failed” my kids.  If I lost my temper one time, I spent the rest of the day berating myself for failing my kids.

I know that I struggled to give myself the grace that Jesus promises so generously.

I know that perfection isn’t a real option for humanity, but I still struggle with wanting my version of it.  A lot of years (and a lot of kids) have helped me to see that my definition of perfection isn’t God’s. He loves me and wants to use these imperfections to draw me to Him. He just loves us so much.  It blows me away.

Jesus said in John 8, “Let him without sin cast the first stone.“  I can’t even imagine what an incredible moment that would have been when Jesus declared this statement.  He was looking at a woman who was caught in sin, and she knew the law said to stone her, but one moment with Jesus changed her life.  One moment with Jesus gave her life. I need to remind myself again, “Let him without sin cast the first stone.” So, why am I constantly casting stones at myself?

We can live set free every day.  Jesus reminded that woman that He didn’t condemn her.  He set her free. Let’s live free today.

Take time every day to remember that it is God we’re resting in and not our own power.

He sets us free to run this race. Tripping doesn’t mean we failed, it means we have an opportunity to hop up and do it again from a different angle.  Take the pressure off, and try again. Remember, we are not failures, we just get another chance to be adventurous.

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