On Guilt and Grace

As I was running this morning I found myself thinking about all the ways I suck as a person.

I was feeling real, legitimate, guilt over times when I say something just to sound smart, rather than add to the conversation; when a friend needs to talk and I’m trying to rush her to get to my next thing; when my church holds a VBS and I had every intention of hanging flyers around my apartment complex (for the adorable kids that I love hearing play outside all day long) and then realize I totally forgot.

As I ran I found myself wanting so badly to be a better person.

I just. want. to. be. BETTER.

Why can’t I be more like all the kind, generous, patient, gracious women I know?

I started devising plans in my head, and am pretty sure the mental exhaustion from that alone was far more than the exhaustion I was getting from running. Then I remembered. The lesson I’ve learned a thousand times and the various people who have told me a million times: Krista, you’re too hard on yourself.

Of course.

The answer is grace.

Not just grace from God, but grace for myself.

Then I remembered that beating myself up over my shortcomings does nothing but make me more like the person I don’t want to be. Then I remembered that having grace for myself helps me have grace for others. Then I remembered that all I have to do to be changed is accept Christ’s gift to me on the cross.

It’s not that I shouldn’t have felt guilty- I have shortcomings and guilt comes from a valid conscience (most of the time). It’s not that I should not desire to be a better, more loving and gracious person.

But it is that I can receive forgiveness and forgive myself for these shortcomings and know that I am still loved. Still valued. Still cherished.

All of a sudden I don’t feel so exhausted anymore.

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3 thoughts on “On Guilt and Grace

  1. Krista – loved this. We are generally so much more loving and gentle with a friend who comes to us with the kinds of issues that you mention– often I use the “what would you say to a friend?” test…..then say that to yourself.

  2. hmmmm…. I find myself doing the same thing, being so hard on myself. Grace for myself is HARD for me to do also. Thank you for the reminder dear friend.

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