It’s becoming increasingly clear to me: life is most lived in the slow. Many things are missed when life is lived at a high-pace. Yeah, you may feel accomplished when a lot was checked off your to-do list, but character is developed, and wounds are healed in the in-between moments when we think nothing productive is happening.
When your thirteen-year-old comes to sit next to you on a lazy Summer Sunday evening at four o’clock, you remember relationships are forged in the slow.
We sat in silence.
I rubbed his back, thinking: Why is resting so hard? What am I afraid of? Am I afraid my life won’t count for something if I am not “doing something?” Am I afraid I won’t measure up?
My thirteen-year-old had just finished yelling and punching his brother.
I know he feels the guilt. No need for words. He knows what he did was wrong. He knows he shouldn’t have lashed out.
I know that feeling all too well…regret.
Regret of not doing enough. Regret of doing too much. Regret of saying too much or not saying enough. Regret of not being enough. Regret of letting my emotions get the best of me. The regret of missing the mark and feeling like I blew it.
The weight of it all is almost too much to bear.
I could remind him, “You’re guilty. You’re busted. You know better than to do what you did.”
Before I point the finger, I take a deep breath and remember God’s grace. You know the grace we all so desperately need? The grace we so quickly offer others yet forget for ourselves? It’s for you and me. For our regrets that echo our minds each day.
Maybe I am wrong, but I never read of Jesus pointing the finger. Disqualifying others, He did quit the opposite.
To the woman caught in adultery he spoke words of healing, “Neither do I condemn you” John 8:11.
Jesus reveals himself to the Samaritan woman and plants the grace of love into her soul. She was forever changed and “many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said” John 4:39.
Jesus spoke no words of condemnation over the man who lived among the tombs, who cut himself with stones. Jesus went out of his way to heal this man that others had bound with chains. One moment with Jesus and he was forever changed (Mark 5:1-20).
If Jesus never points his finger, then why do we?
Our mistakes do not disqualify us from being used.
Jesus spent his three years of ministry making sure we understood there is NO condemnation. No guilt. No judgment. No looking back and getting caught in our past. He has taken care of it before the sin is even committed.
Romans 8:1 seems far easier to quote than live out. If God doesn’t mull over our wrong, why do we?
Why do we allow the mistakes of yesterday to override the voice of Truth and dictate our future?
Walking in grace doesn’t always come easy, especially when it comes to forgiving yourself.
We were not designed to live condemned, to live in the guilt of our past. We were designed to live free, to live (and) walk not after the voice of the flesh, but after the voice of the Spirit (John 3:18 AMP).
It is in our weakness we discover Christ as our real source and strength.
Jesus is the ultimate grace giver when we want to point our finger at ourselves and live in regret.
Silence…while we sat.
I gently hugged him. He muttered, “I think I’ll go and apologize.”
The gospel in its simplest form…living free from condemnation.
The best way to live is to forgive yourself and move forward.
Jesus bore the cross of our sin, so we didn’t have to.
A life lived with no condemnation, is a life lived free of regrets. Living fully awake and free to take the next step in faith. To love yourself, do nothing from a place of regret, but do everything knowing you are holy, blameless, and forgiven in His sight.
Maybe you need to hear this as much as I need to: God is pleased with you… just the way you are.
Forgive yourself. Stop living in past regrets. Watch as you become what you were created for, allowing the Spirit to move through you. Feeling fully loved. Fully accepted, to fully love and accept others.
Grace forgives before one offense was made.
Slow down, and watch Grace at work.
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