by Debbie W. Wilson in Leading Hearts Magazine
BEFORE I’D EVEN PULLED OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY, THE WAZE GPS APP ON MY PHONE SAID I’D ARRIVE FIVE MINUTES LATE.
Groan. I was on my way to a group that had invited me to visit after discussing my book Little Women, Big God. My cheeks burned at the thought of walking in late.
Why can’t you leave on time? What’s wrong with you? My thoughts chided me.
This line of thinking wouldn’t make up for lost time or prepare my heart to encourage these women. I’d recently finished reading a novel with an imperfect heroine. When she ran late, I empathized with her. So, why was I so hard on myself?
I shifted my thoughts to God. I thanked Him for making me who I am and asked Him to work this situation out for good — and to help me arrive on time!
A woman pulled in behind me as I parked. She jumped out of her car and raced to open the door. “I’m so glad to see you drive up. If I walk in with the speaker, I’m not late.” We both laughed.
God used my timing, or my un-timing, to build a bond. I entered relaxed and happy to be there. Would that have happened if I’d stayed self-absorbed, brooding over my weaknesses?
AMAZED BY GRACE
Reading how God dealt with His flawed children has helped me give myself grace when I mess up.
God appeared to Jacob and gave him a spectacular dream in which He promised to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan. He was bequeathing the promise of Abraham.
What amazed me about this scene is its timing. Jacob had just deceived his father and cheated his brother.
And what about Samson? Who holds up someone with a string of moral failures as an example of faith? God did. Not because of his failures, but because of his faith. Hebrews 11:16 (NIV) says, “God is not ashamed to be called their God.”
TRANSFORMED BY GRACE
If our High Priest sympathizes with our weaknesses, shouldn’t we extend patience to ourselves (Hebrews 4:15)? Living in regret chains us to our errors. But when we surrender to God, He uses even our flops for His glory and our good.
How can you stop being hard on yourself? RECEIVE GRACE
• Recognize and reject critical and condemning thoughts as ungodly and destructive (Romans 8:1; John 10:10).
• Replace them with true and lovely thoughts (Philippians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 10:5).
• Remember there is only one Superhero.
When we shed our need to be perfect and focus on God’s faithfulness, His limitless grace stretches the limits of our faith and we experience a God bigger than our flaws.
Watch for Debbie’s new book, Little Faith, Big God, coming February 2020 at debbiewwilson.com.