Saturday, August 19, 2017

Full of Grace

When you give up on yourself, you are truly giving up on the Spirit in you, 
Jesus' declaration to never leave you, and God's promise to complete you.

Everyday after I finish my reading I write a 'truth bomb' in my planner. Today's, written above, was a huge wake up call.

As a natural born encourager, I try to use my words to build others up. Sometimes I fail at that because I project my own insecurities on others. This generally effects only those who live with me. Others? No. I will use every ounce of motivational speech I can to keep someone going, reminding them of their calling, and God's capabilities. But myself? Well, read the quote again.

It didn't occur to me until reading The Last Arrow by Erwin McManus just how frequently I give up on myself. It's not typically a deliberate decision to stop pursuing something, but more often a change in behavior that halts forward progress and likely leads to some serious back-sliding. 

Colossians 4:6 exhorts us to Let our conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that we can know how to answer everyone. The difficulty in this, at least for me, is not in knowing how to answer others, but more so in figuring out what questions I need to ask myself so that I don't quit when things get tough and to keep the words I speak to myself grace-filled.

But at the root of this issue is the fact that I'm still trying to manage it all on my own. And when I am tempted to give up on myself, I am truly giving up on the Spirit in me, Jesus' declaration to never leave me, and God's promise to complete me. 

Romans 8:11 tells us that the same spirit that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us and will give life to our mortal bodies. We aren't responspible for maintaining our vitality or effectiveness. When we get out of the Spirit's way, it works in us to accomplish things, we just need to follow where it leads. 

Not only that, but Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:20 that surely He is with us always, to the end of the age. He's not abandoning ship because we're moving to slow or sailing against the wind, He's calling us to get out of the boat and walk with Him on the water.

And finally, in His gracious love, God has promised that no matter what, He will finish what He began. Granted it will likely take more than 6 days for Him to be done with His work in us, but when He is, we are guaranteed that He is going to declare it very good because He doesn't do anything that falls short of His expectations or plans.

As women we come down hard on ourselves. We want to stop when it's hard and we see other opportunities where our time can be more productive or fruitful. But if we are walking away from what's hard for what's easy, we are also deciding to live where we can do more on our own because we need God less. But we aren't giving up on ourselves alone, we're giving up on God.

So let's move forward bravely. Let's ask ourselves why we started in the first place. Let's dream with God about what we want out of it and believe He has much more in store. And let's hold our hearts gently, whispering truth when it's easier to believe lies. And maybe this time we'll not only see something through to the end, but we'll give others permission to do the same.

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