Grace even for me

A couple days ago a good friend and mentor reminded me  I was the type of person to not only hand out grace but to also remind people of God’s grace over their faults and sins.  She told me this as I was talking to her about my own shame and guilt and that I was finding it hard to believe in God’s forgiveness.  As the conversation continued she gently reminded me that God’s grace that I so freely talk to others about is also the same grace that covers me.  It wasn’t God that wasn’t able to forgive me, I was finding it hard to forgive myself.

I will admit that I struggle with this.  I know in my heart that God loves me unconditionally and I know his forgiveness extends to all areas of my life.  If you read my last blog I talk about this very thing.  I’ve come to realize that I struggle more with believing in God’s grace over me when people in my life don’t offer the same grace.  I link what humans give out with what God gives out.  I am sad to say I put God in the same category as people.  If they are angry at me, then God must be angry at me.  If they love me little, God must love me little. If they can’t forgive me, then God must not forgive me.  I thought I had conquered this need for human approval, but I guess I still have a little work to do. 🙂   The biggest work is to separate God’s love and grace from the love and grace of people.

Most people in my life can tell you that I am all about grace.  I can never stay angry with someone and that I forgive quite easily.  Even those that have hurt me deeply, I can always find the soft spot in my heart that allows me to forgive and move on.  I try and find the motive behind the hurt and see why they did what they did.  Sometimes the answers are simple and I know they didn’t mean to and sometimes it’s not an answer I like, but yet I forgive and move on.  I have to admit sometimes it makes me angry that I am so forgiving because it sometimes allows people to continue to hurt me, but then I am reminded of the fact that my life is meant to reflect Jesus and I forgive anyway.

Forgiveness for myself?  Most of the time that is easy, but as of late with a couple things that have happened with the way others have treated me it has become harder.  But it is just a new journey and one I am willing to face and conquer.  The same way I look to find the reasons that people do the things they do, is the same way I need to approach myself.  Sometimes the answers will be simple and I can just admit I did wrong, but other times the answers will be ones I don’t like and I will have to face myself and deal with it. But to not forgive myself and believe in God’s forgiveness when I model this to others makes me hypocritical and this is not how I want to be.

My friend, Pablo put up a blog video a couple days ago that reminded me of what my friend/mentor was talking about the other day that God loves me on my worst day.  In all of my shame, my sin, my lack of faith and belief….He loves me and forgives me

What I need to work on now is to not to  confuse His grace with how people, friends or enemies model grace.  God’s grace is always present and always free.  The sinner in me finds this hard to believe, but the spirit of God in me gives me the faith to believe.

This will be my prayer for the next few days or weeks (however long it takes!):

Father, please forgive me for my lack of faith in believing that even on my worst day You still love me and that Your grace covers me even before I ask it of you.  Forgive me that I put you in the same category as humans and link Your love with theirs and Your forgiveness with theirs.  Help me to continue to have a forgiving spirit towards others and to find grace over those that hurt me.  Let me always be someone that others can find the grace that you so freely offer.