Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.
– Max Lucado
It’s a new year and like everyone else I’m thinking about my resolutions or intentions again. I’m also thinking about what didn’t go right last year. I gained weight. I exercised all of three times. Ok maybe 10 times. Maybe. Unless vacuuming counts and then I exercised when the dog went through shedding spurts. I let politics and COVID make me angry and stressed. I didn’t write like I said I would. I also held grudges that should have been long, long gone and forgiven. And now I’m dragging it all into 2022 telling myself not to mess up like I did last year. That is not very encouraging. Don’t Mess Up Like You Did Last Year. When did I get so negative? How about – let go of the past and look forward to a new year. My favorite word is grace and I seem to have forgotten what it means and the importance of giving it to myself and others.
The beauty and signature of God’s grace is that he does not give up on us – even when we give up on ourselves. So my priority this year is living a life full of grace. Aging gracefully and not just through fitness and serums. Aging gracefully also means being a kinder person knowing more about how life polishes us. Kind of like old rocks in a river that have been washed over and over to perfect smoothness. A better understanding of how people feel, who they are and exuding more compassion.
It’s easy to get caught up in competition with others or slip back into bad habits that aren’t healthy. It’s worse to beat ourselves up over it. Put it in the past and forgive yourself. Start over. Grace allows us a fresh new life which is not condemned by God. Through God’s grace we are forgiven which should change our way of thinking, renewing our mind and heart.
According to western Christian theology, God gives grace to us because He wants us to have it – and not because we have earned it. It’s like power for us to do what we can’t do for ourselves. In Corinthians, God says to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul asked God three separate times to remove his thorn in the flesh. I don’t know what the thorn was, but it was troubling, and Paul didn’t believe he could rid himself of it on his own. But God said he could. I know what my thorns are and I’m sure anyone reading this has their thorns. Regardless of what they are or how bad or different, God’s grace is sufficient for us too and His power is made perfect in weakness.
Grace is my intention. Diet, exercise and other goals won’t help if my mental state is not clear of my burdens. No more dwelling. More faith, more grace to ourselves and others. I love this quote by Brené Brown, “Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.”
Happy New Year! Now go drink your two liters of water, hit the gym, write your book, eat more veggies, start your own business or whatever else you think your intentions or goals should be. But resolve to show yourself grace.
Here’s to a year more successful and better than ever simply by receiving and giving GRACE!
“For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.” – Saint Augustine of Hippo