The other day my oldest daughter and I were talking about Romans 3:23.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23)”
Her response? I get the “all have sinned” part, but I don’t like the “fall short” part. As soon as she said it, I knew exactly what she meant. I don’t like the “fall short” part either. I want to rise to the occasion, and when I don’t…well, it just stinks. I feel awful. I hate letting others down, but especially myself.
Today’s Bible verse reminded me of this fact again.
“For whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles in one point only has become guilty of all of it.” (James 2:10)
Even just one tiny mishap and we’re guilty. Ugh.
How can we ever measure up?
The short answer? We can’t.
That’s where grace comes in.
Thank God for grace.
The other day was a day where I needed a lot of grace because I felt like I was fowling up big time. You ever have days like that? It seems like I have them more often now that I have children than ever before.
You know, I secretly think God gives you children to bring out all those little sinful spots you try to cover up from everyone else. You can’t cover them from your kids. They get right in there and dig them out. I guess they are kind of like that iron sharpens iron bit (Proverbs 27:17). It’s not really comfortable, and it definitely doesn’t make you look too good, but it’s God’s medicine.
So back to the story. It was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right. My girls were constantly being distracted (in other words, not doing their school work). I had deadlines I knew I wasn’t going to be able to meet. I had yelled at my girls. I had tried to do something to help my husband but ended up just making it worse. I even stepped on the dog’s tail. It was one of those days.
As I went out for a walk to clear the air and pray as I often do when I’m really at my limit, the following verse came to my mind:
And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, because my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore rather I will boast most gladly in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may reside in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Even though I want to do a quality job and I want to do things right as a Type A personality, I’m learning that perfection isn’t where it’s at. It just stresses you out and makes you feel like dirt.
So what did I do?
I deleted the pressing matters off my to-do list.
Yep, just deleted them. I knew I couldn’t do a good job and trying to fit it all in was not making anyone happy so I just said, “sorry, I can’t do that.” The end. We didn’t finish school. I told a client no. I gave up serving in a high-stress position. Can I just say FREEING! Oh my goodness, I never felt so free. I gave in and gave up. I gave in to the fact that I couldn’t do it all and gave it up to God to work it out how He thought best.
Sunday at church, it seemed that once again our pastor was preaching just to me as he said,
“It is not our goodness that attracts people to God. We will fail at goodness. Being spirit-filled is taking the focus off my goodness and let others see more clearly God’s goodness.”–Jeremy Jordan
I’m going to mess up and it’s okay. I’m not perfect. In fact, it’s more than okay, because God is gracious, and it is in my weakness that He can shine the most.