Be kind. Be tenderhearted. Be forgiving. Easy to say, but so hard to do.
I struggle a lot with perfectionism, and often nurture a critical spirit. And this spirit rears its ugly head the most when I’m feeling bad about myself.
When I don’t feel good enough, or smart enough, or simply enough generally, I find myself becoming much more critical of other people.
However, when I dwell on the fact that in Christ I am forgiven, loved, and enough because of what he’s done for me, my mood towards myself and others starts to change.
I recognise the people in my life as forgiven, loved, and enough too. Flawed yet beautiful children of God who deserve my grace and respect, just because.
Lord, make me kinder and more compassionate to both myself and others as I remember your incredible kindness and compassion towards me. Work in me, Jesus. Change me, grow me, and renew me as I seek to love others as you love them.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
– Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV
Such a timely piece. So true. At breakfast just a little while ago Michael was reading from Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy, chapter 7 which touches on the subject of condemnation. He and I were discussing perfectionism…how perhaps we learn it as a child as a means of securing love. And yet in God we are so forever loved and accepted. Perfect love casts out fear, such as the fear of losing love because we are not enough. I love when God prompts several of us, and probably many more worldwide, with the same topic at the same time. Daddy loves His kiddos…and we are blessed. Have a wonderful summer day…loved the pics of you overlooking the sea. xxoo
Wow, Sheila. It sure is amazing when God’s messages come from multiple sources around the same time… I’m so, so grateful I serve a God who sent a Saviour, in love, to cover all my sin, and reminds me often that I don’t have to strive to meet the unrealistic standards I set for myself. The standard has already been met in Christ. It is finished.
Thank you, I’m in a beautiful part of Australia called Tasmania, where there’s gorgeous hiking trails and delicious food at every turn. And all on my own with my hubby while the kids are minded by grandparents. Very lucky!
Awwww…sounds so lovely and I’m sure it’s a special treat getting away just the two of you. ENJOY and recharge. xxoo
Thank you for your writing and encouragement. I can so relate to this post as I am my harshest critic. Working on living in the moment, with God present. Much better than beating myself up over something that has already taken place.
We often tend to be harshest on ourselves don’t we? May you continue to live in the moment and know God’s presence, love, and grace at every turn.
Hmm, sounds really familiar to me. We are definitely in the same boat with this one. When I saw this on my Bible app this morning so many “situations” blew through my mind. Nice to see someone else is willing to admit she struggles with the same critical spirit. Thank you for sharing. Blessings! 🙂
Lovely pics, by the way!
Thanks Liz! That’s me in Tasmania, Australia. God’s creation is amazing!
Yeah. It’s a hard one, the ol’ critical spirit. May we know both God’s grace for us, and others, in every situation.
Explains a lot about me. My drive to “get things right” often leads me to be really hard on myself, and on others when they aren’t perfect. I never realized quite how these two qualities are oppositional, but it makes sense. Thanks for giving me something to pray about.
Yeah, I think I’ve only recently realized the connection between me being hard on myself and my struggle not to judge others and demand perfection/ high standards. Praying for you as you bring these things to God and receive his love and grace.
Dear Ali . . .that verse in Ephesians is one of my scriptures to pray this year. Thank you for the confirmation! Blessings and love!
That’s awesome, Debbie! Isn’t it amazing how God confirms things! Praying for you as you live out this verse by his grace.
Thanks for this Ali… beautifully said. 🙂 I can so relate to this!
How was Tasmania?