Every year around the beginning of the year, I hear many of my friends talking about a word that God lays on their heart as kind of their “theme” for the year. I haven’t ever gotten into that, though maybe I should. At the end of a year, I can often look back and tell you what my “word” would have been. For 2011, the word would have been “grace”.
I recently finished reading What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey, a book that every Christian should read. I got quite a different perspective of grace…a deeper understanding from it. Grace is a word pretty unique to the Christian religion. We always here about God’s grace, having grace for others, etc. Grace is often synonymous with forgiveness, though it is more than that.
On my mind the past few weeks has been something that I’ve always struggled with. I don’t hold grudges. I’m quick to forgive—everyone but myself.
There’s such an emphasis on forgiving others. We learn all about God’s grace for us, how undeserving we are, but how much He loves us. But how much grace do we bestow upon ourselves? I know it’s often the last thing on my mind, and therefore, that has been my biggest struggle for a long time.
Writers, in general, are often the hardest on themselves. Something about the way our minds work, I’m sure. All that creativity and passion channeled into our lives, be it a WIP, family, or whatever else we have in our lives.
If we don’t forgive ourselves, what does that say about our trust in God? “God, I know you forgave me and are giving me the 1,035th chance, but I just can’t Maybe you, the God of the Universe, just didn’t get it right this time. There’s no hope for me.” Pretty ridiculous, huh?
I think, though, for me, the closer I am to God in my daily life, the better able I am to accept His unfailing grace. The better understanding I have of grace, the more willing I am to allow me to have grace for myself. Another chance. Even if it is the 1036th time.
I’ve learned so much about myself and about grace this year. I’ve accepted my many imperfections and flaws, realizing that I am only human. Perfection is not within my grasp—and the day it is will be the day I embrace my Savior in Heaven.
As we come to the last couple of months of the year—a time of reflection during Thanksgiving, and a time of hope for the future as we celebrate the birth of our Saviror—I think I’ll embrace the joy of a lesson learned. Maybe I’ll even pray for my own word for 2012. I wonder what God has in store for me?