My days are filled with taking care of my little one, who I love and adore. I want to be the best parent that I can be for my son, but I fall short sometimes. Thankfully, I know that God is full of mercy and grace. In my moments of weakness, His grace is always there to catch me and His love is there to comfort me.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”~2 Cortinthians 12:9 NIV
There was a time in my life, that I didn’t know about God’s grace. I was a “people-pleaser” and I guess you could say that I was a “rule-follower”. I believed that I had to be perfect in order to be accepted and lovable. I was trying to find my value in the world’s standards by striving towards an unattainable goal—perfectionism. My clouded perception was that if I was skinny enough, pretty enough, talented enough…then I would be good enough. I was trying to earn love, rather than resting in God’s grace.
My focus was in the wrong direction and I was clinging to a bunch of empty promises. I was viewing myself through a pair of worldly lenses, rather than seeing myself as God sees me. With time, God began to open my eyes to the truth. I began to discover that my worth is in God, and that He loves me regardless of my imperfections. I began to yield to the Lord, and He began to change me.
I’m still a work in progress and there are still days that I struggle to believe that I’m good enough. However, there is a difference in my life now. Rather than pursuing perfectionism, I’m pursuing God’s grace. I know that God accepts me just as I am and that my salvation doesn’t depend on how many good things I do, because salvation comes by grace through faith alone.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~Ephesians 2: 8-10 NIV
We can’t save ourselves or earn God’s love by doing good things, yet God created us to do good works. Meaning that, God doesn’t want us to become self-righteous in thinking that we can do something to earn his approval, because we can’t. God is not interested in rules or religion…he wants a relationship with us. His desire is for us to accept His grace so that we can have a relationship with Him. When we become Christ-followers, our actions start to reflect the genuine faith that we have in Jesus Christ. Those “good works”—they are the result of the relationship we have with the Lord and they are meant to bring good.
God created us with a purpose. He put gifts and talents in each one of us and He wants us to use them. Not because they save us or make us more loved, but because they bring Glory to God and they also end up blessing us in return.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” ~1 Peter 4:10
My response to God’s grace, is to honor Him. I want to use the gifts and talents that He has put in me, because I want to live out the purpose that He created me for. I try to be a loving mommy, a faithful wife, a good friend, and so on…not with perfection in mind, but instead knowing that God values my work and He still accepts me when I fail. When that perfectionist mindset tries to sneak back in, I turn it over to God and He reminds me of who I am. I’m learning to trust a little more each day, that when I mess up or something doesn’t go as planned, it’s OK. I’m not perfect, and it’s OK. I’m also learning that God can use our failures and disappoints to help us grow. In fact, sometimes we grow the most during the most “imperfect” times in our lives.
Trading perfectionism for grace leads to freedom. It means letting go of a “rule-based” mindset, and instead choosing to live in the beauty of having a relationship with the Lord. It doesn’t mean that all our struggles will go away. On this side of eternity, there will continue to be hardships. However, there is hope because God promises that one day, He will wipe every tear away. I’m holding onto that promise and I’m choosing to trust that in each and every moment of life, God’s grace is always enough.
(C) 2013 Pocketful of Motherhood