Are you curious what grace is Friday’s? I’m going to keep you in suspense.
This has been a weird week. Of course, one could make a compelling argument that every week of mine is weird. I’m writing a series on grace. I’ve gotten encouraging responses, several shares and thanks, and had three people unsubscribe. This week. During the grace series. As ever, who reads this and why remains a mystery I will never solve. Each day has gotten fewer reads. Why? Do people need less grace by the end of the week?
Another odd thing about this week: I’ve blocked two people on Facebook. I rarely block anyone and grace week feels a strange time to have done so. I block people who send me hate mail. They didn’t. I simply reached the end of what I could carry with each of them. I take everything personally–in case you thought I’ve been kidding every time I’ve said that here–and certain types of criticism, delivered in certain tones, eat at me. I can’t let them go. So they end up taking a massive toll on me.
With that confession, we’ve arrived at Friday grace. Friday grace is grace for ourselves. Friday grace is that we accept ourselves, even love ourselves, with our limitations.
How is that grace? How is that biblical?
I am imperfect. I fail and fall short in so many ways. I know Jesus and I have a pretty good idea what love should look like in many contexts. The thing I know I should do I do not do, and the very thing I know I should not do, that I do. Sound familiar from somewhere? (Romans or your life, you pick.)
Here’s the crazy thing about God: God is not angry at me for falling short. God is not angry with me even though I know better. God does not condemn me for my failures. There is now no condemnation in Christ. No, I’m not taking that out of context. This is precisely the context. Romans 7 goes into Romans 8, thanks be to God. When we complete Romans 8 we know nothing–nothing–can separate us from the love of God, but remember we began at Romans 7 with my massive failure to do what I should do, even though I know better.
Friday grace is I don’t have to hate myself for being imperfect. Friday grace is that I can learn to love my imperfect self because God loves my imperfect self. Is God still working in me to perfect me? Absolutely. But not in a pissy, putting-up-with-this-for-now, kind of passive-aggressive, withholding-approval-until-you-get-it-right way. And if you don’t understand that description I just gave, I’m describing every single one of us who struggles to love ourselves.
God loves me more than I love me, and Friday grace is it’s okay to love myself like God loves me, with the same grace that God shows me.
Welcome to Friday grace.
Love your neighbor as yourself. You know the grace you have been called to show your neighbor. (“And who is my neighbor?”) That’s the grace God offers you. That’s the grace God gives you to show yourself. From you, to you. You can forgive yourself because God has forgiven you. You can show yourself grace because Jesus has taken your sin to show you grace.
Friday grace. You can choose.