Self Talk: How to Extend Grace to Yourself
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 ESV
Stupid, Angela, that was just plain stupid. You know better than that. Why can’t you get it right?
I accidentally left a block of cheese out all night and it was hard and nasty the next morning. I had to throw it away. I felt terrible that I wasted food (so many have so little) and I wasted money (what if we couldn’t afford more cheese).
I should be more aware. If only I had cleaned the kitchen after dinner then I never would have left the cheese out. Why can’t I keep my house better? I bet my kids won’t be able to keep their houses clean either. I am such a terrible role model for them……
My mind raced with the long list of failures, short-comings – some of them weeks old. Others years old, but the thought of them still caused my heart to clench tight. I forget lots of things – appointments, birthday parties, craft nights I was invited to. But I don’t forget that I forgot. I chastise myself for being forgetful.
I have this crazy standard of what makes a great wife, mom, writer, friend, sister, daughter, citizen, church member, etc. And when I fail I beat myself up. I may not have any black and blue marks, but my soul is raw and bruised from the constant battering.
While we ought to take our sin seriously, God never intended us to continually deride ourselves. In fact Paul, who before becoming a Christian murdered those who believed in Jesus, confidently called himself “the foremost of sinners.” But that truth did not keep him kicking himself. Instead this truth drove Paul to live a life of gratitude towards God.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Romans 7:24-25 ESV
When I make a mistake and start to berate myself:
I need to praise God for His forgiveness.
I need to ask the Holy Spirit to help me make better choices so I will do good things that will bring God glory.
I need to remind myself that God does not make junk, so I am not junk.
I ought to ask would I be ok if someone else said those things about my husband or child or mother. If not, then I ought not say them about myself.
Then I need to tell myself the truth:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his [God’s] own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Father God thank You for forgiveness and grace. Help me to forgive myself when I mess up. Help me to stop beating myself up over things that are covered in Jesus’ blood. Instead fill me with Your Spirit that I may make wise choices that bring You glory and honor. When I do make mistakes help me to repent and leave them at the foot of the cross. May I never try to punish myself for something Christ already paid the penalty for. Help me to speak the truth in love to myself that I may bring You glory and honor. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.