How More Grace (and Less Condemnation) Can Be Found in 2020
Keep reading to discover why it may be healthier for you to live out a New Year’s Hope, rather than make a New Year’s Resolution.
Christmas is over.
And if I’m quite honest, that tree standing over there in the corner of my living room – that tree that brought me so much joy for the last four weeks – has become a super-depressing sight overnight.
Is this why people make New Year’s Resolutions?
I think so. It must be at least one of the reasons, anyhow. Don’t we all need a bit of a pick-me-up after the post-holiday emotional crash? I know I do. (You can find out how I get myself and my kids moving again after the holidays here.)
Today, as I look forward to the new year, I’m thinking about mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. I make them frequently; then, I beat myself up over said mistakes until my soul is raw and bleeding. But I’m beginning to realize that this may not be the healthiest way to deal with my failings.
I’m beginning to see that:
My soul needs less condemnation and more grace.Tweet
Hmm… Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I don’t need the guilt of another failed New Year’s resolution this year. Instead, I’ll choose a New Year’s hope.
My New Year’s
My New Year’s hope is to continue learning – albeit s l o w l y – not to repeat old patterns of self-condemnation over merely being human.
I mean, how silly of me, anyway.
Humans make mistakes.
Ergo, I will make mistakes.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”Romans 8:1 NLT
A wise woman once told me, “When I make a mistake, I try not to condemn myself; but rather, I ask God, ‘What do you want me to learn from this?’”
Similarly, I find comfort in the words of St. Francis de Sales:
Condemnation Vs. Grace
There’s this pesky moral perfectionist inside me, however, that argues:
“Wait just a minute! Are you saying I don’t have to berate myself for being human? I don’t have to get it right the first time, every time? You’re saying that I can turn this crappy moment into a positive by learning from it? That’s preposterous!”
“Yes,” I reply. “Yes, it is. But that’s grace, and I’m so thankful for it.”
Difficulty Accepting Grace
Is there one area of your life in which you find it’s most difficult to accept grace? For me, it’s in my work as a writer. Why? Because there is much power in the written word. Power for good, but also power to hurt.
At the Risk of Offending
As a writer, I will inevitably hurt, offend, frustrate, tick-off, or confuse my readers. Even if I have the best of intentions and pick my words ever so carefully, I will still get myself into messy situations like:
- I think I wrote something lovely and full of hope, but instead some find it offensive.
- I mean to encourage and motivate, but instead some feel pressured or judged.
- And so on…
Grace for Me (and You)
As I grow and change in the coming year, what will I do with my mistakes? I will say to myself: “There, I have made a mistake. I will go on now and learn from it.” I will choose to accept grace.
In what area of your life do you need to learn to accept more grace?
Take some time today to forgive yourself, accept the fact that you’re human, and move forward.
I wish you and your families much love and grace and joy in the new year!
Sara Jane Kehler