Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Standard of Grace

I am a Pinterest junkie. (Need an invite? Leave a comment with your email.) It's better than Facebook, and twice as addictive. I currently have an obscene number of "pins", which are essentially illustrated bookmarks. I have pins for holidays, for craft ideas (for the girls and for myself), for Girl Scout things, for knitting inspiration, for photography...the list just goes on and on. But some of my favorite pins are in a board that I titled "Words to Live By."


You can follow people on Pinterest, the same way that you friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, and see the things that they pin too. The vast majority of my own pins have come from re-pinning the pins of others. (Are you confused yet? It makes perfect sense once you start using it, I promise.)


Tonight, I came across a phrase that immediately struck a chord with me, and into my Words to Live By board it went:






In case your images aren't working, it says: I will hold myself to a standard of GRACE, not perfection.


Whoa.


Now, having a daughter whose middle name is Grace, and having named her that because of the Biblical definition of grace (God's unmerited favor), one would think that I have a pretty good grasp of the whole concept. And do get it, partially - by our inherent nature, we don't deserve good things. All good and perfect gifts come from above. Gotcha.


But what about taking that grace and applying it to my everyday life?


Am I gracious enough when my kids are on my nerves? (Sometimes.) To people who are rude to me? (Usually.) To people who say things to intentionally hurt my feelings? (Perhaps outwardly.) To the Jehovah's Witnesses that stop by on the days I haven't bothered to get out of my pajamas and right in the middle of our school work? (Well, getting a big dog put a pretty efficient end to that.)


I am a bit of a perfectionist by nature. Most people who know me well would never suspect as much, but I assure you that it's true. If I'm going to do something, I want it done well and thoroughly, and if I can not make it perfect, then I'm likely not to bother. Did you know that a lot of hoarders actually have perfectionistic tendencies? It's true. They can't make their homes perfect, so they give up trying. I am not, thank goodness, to that point...although I'm no June Cleaver either. I can think of several areas of my life into which that philosophy has crept - all or nothing. Less than perfect is not good enough.


I beat myself up over these things. Over not being a perfect mom. A perfect wife. A perfect friend. I always have. I lose sleep, I make myself sick, I sling myself into a depression over these feelings of inadequacy. Not because I don't do something at all, but because I don't do it perfectly.


But what if...


What if I could embrace the grace that God bestows on me constantly and make that, rather than perfection, my standard of living?


What if I could focus on more effectively extending grace to other people, thereby making myself a better person?


What if I could truly accept the grace that has been showered onto me, wrap myself in it, and remember that it is perfect?


This one quote on Pinterest has certainly made me think tonight...and now I want to know. What would "holding yourself to a standard of grace" mean to you?


* * * *
Going to share this post with the lovely ladies at Spiritual Sundays!




7 comments:

  1. More than once I have beaten myself up for not being the perfect - - - . However I am so blessed to know that when God looks at me, He DOES see me as perfect in His eyes, and yes, as you have stated, it is because of His marvelous GRACE.

    Oh yes and thanks for your sweet comments on my post!

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  2. Oh, this is a great post. So glad I found you. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface with understanding grace. It is so big and wonderful and hard to grasp. God is immeasurable in his love for us.

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  3. To me grace is God saying to me,"Bobbi, you are capable of only so much. But I love you so much, I am going to give it all to you, free of charge." I don't have to strive to be perfect. All I have to do is walk with my Lord. Great post, thanks so much and God bless.

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  5. Spending most of my life in a legalistic church made it a little difficult for me to understand grace. I'm glad God has shown me, in answer to much prayer, a better way - a way of grace. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful post.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  6. Wonderful post and great words to live by. I am only able to grasp a fraction of Gods grace, His love, mercy and grace are amazing. Thank you for this thought provoking post :)

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  7. Hi Kristin,

    Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by my devotional writing blog. I don't know what a Pinterest is. I'm afraid to find out if it's more addictive than Facebook and blogging. Because of my new job responsibilities I'm unable to blog and Facebook as much as I'd like. But I'm blogging now, yaaaayyyy!

    Hope to speak with you again soon.

    Blessings,
    Judy

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