Ministry Resources

How Not To Waste Grace

Author: Dave Beroth

There’s a person I’ve always been impatient with.

He’s a person I’ve had a hard time forgiving in the past. He never quite measures up to the standard I expect from him, so I remind him of that every now and then. When he fails, I tell him, “You know, this isn’t the first time this has happened.” When he promises to do better, I say, “That’s what you said last time.” Let me tell you, this man can be completely exasperating sometimes.

You know who I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s the guy I have to look at every day when I’m shaving the graying stubble on my face. Here’s what I’ve learned, though. If I can’t be patient with myself, it’s hard to be patient with others. If I don’t see value in myself, it’s hard to see value in others. If I don’t love myself, it’s hard to love others.

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) If we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves, and we don’t love ourselves, where does that put our neighbor? There’s a tension to manage in life. On the one hand, you’re not to think too highly of yourself (Philippians 2:3); on the other hand, you need to see yourself as God sees you. Do you know how he sees you? He sees you as valuable — just like everyone else. He loves you, even when you’re less than lovable.

He loves you, even when you’re less than lovable

Remember this: Of all the people you’re supposed to care for, you’re one of them. You don’t do anyone any good by beating yourself up every day. Treat yourself with kindness. The Apostle Paul could have been extremely hard on himself. In his letter to the Corinthians he acknowledged he was the least of the Apostles because of his past. Yet he understood God’s kindness toward him should not be wasted. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV) Apply God’s grace in your life and develop a creed to live by. Be your own best friend. Learn how to be your own best friend by understanding what is good about best friends? Best friends know each other well.

How well do you know yourself? Your strengths, weakness, moods and rhythms? What increases or diminishes your energy? Best friends respect each other enough to be honest. Being your own best friend means staying honest with yourself. Question yourself. Compel yourself to be the best person that you can be. Best friends have fun together. Don’t let yourself get old in mind and spirit. Be your own best friend and learn to have fun by yourself. Best friends bring out the best in each other. Best friends are not just “good together” — they are good “for each other.” If you want to be your own best friend, learn to recognize the potential in yourself. Once you see what you can become, don’t let yourself off the hook.

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