Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Standard of Grace, Not Perfection


I will  hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. Think about it for a second. Then another. And another. Revolutionary, right? At least it was for me. Recently I've discovered the blog and shop of Emily Ley {photo credit to this post}.  Grace is a word I have heard in church and in Lifegroup time and time again, but I never took the time to ask what truly does it mean for me?

It's a question we all should ask.

Charis is the Greek word for "grace," and it is also translated to "favor" and "thanks."  This word appears 156 times in the New Testament most often in reference to God's grace because His is unlike any other. Charis comes from charisma which means gift, and it is so easy to see that God's grace is a great gift that all of us need.

I read once that justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is not getting what you deserve, and grace is getting what you don't deserve. Again, a revolutionary idea that could turn our daily interactions and responses upside down.

Having received grace we are called to live by it, to be gracious to others, and to walk confidently in it. The youth pastor at my home church and his wife are walking through a journey of adoption and in this post share how they showed incredible grace; we are able because He has shown grace to us.

In Philip Yancey's book What's So Amazing About Grace? he writes:
"The many uses of the word in English convince me that grace is indeed amazing-- truly our last best word. It contains the essence of the gospel as a drop of water can contain the image of the sun. The world thirsts for grace in ways it does not even recognize... trace the roots of grace, or charis in Greek, and you will find a verb that means 'I rejoice, I am glad'."

I will  hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. 

Take a look at your daily life. What added stress and anxiety have you been adding all for the sake of "perfection"? Is perfection even attainable? If not, then why do what you do? And how? Question upon question it can become overwhelming. Believe me, I know.

I wouldn't call myself a perfectionist, but I'm something close to it. I work hard, I say "yes" to too many things, my planner travels with me no matter where I go, and I know all too well what stress feels like. That sentence in itself makes me feel anxious. But this has been life since high school. And during high school. And I'm not entirely sure why.

Somewhere along the way I began to believe the lie that If I don't do something then it either won't get done or won't be done right. So, on that note, I packed my days with commitments and appointments, organizations and various groups, all for what? To gain a title? To be able to show off my list of "duties"? And for who's glory? Mine? Ouch. 

Mine would be correct. Whether or not I was seeking after perfection or something different, it mattered not. The truth was I wasn't seeking after the One person who deserved my attention, my work, my time, and my focus. My Savior, the Author and Perfecter of all things, the only perfect person to walk this earth.

So, in seeking to show more love, I will seek to show more grace. And to more openly receive the Grace He continually gives. Please feel free to hold me to that :) And please, what does grace mean to you? I'd love to hear!

3 comments:

  1. Bailey Jean,

    So glad you found my blog! You're right, Waco bloggers are few and far between, which is why I'm thankful you found me! Love reading your posts (I went back a few pages!).

    Philip Yancey is one of my favorite Christian writers (my favorite is "Where is God When it Hurts"); he always has wonderful words of wisdom that make my heart feel full.

    Sending love and grace your way!
    -Sar

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  2. This is so incredibly beautiful, Bailey. Truly. I love your heart after God. Following your journey :)

    xo
    brittanykytecreated.blogspot.

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  3. I was lying on the couch with my son, thinking of the time that I should be working because I still haven't completed the remaining 9 hours of my work. I'm also bothered by not being able to go to church for the youth fellowship this afternoon. I feel guilty because it's my commitment that failed. And then, I remember this quote from Emily Ley, I want to write about it because it suits me best in my current situation. I searched for the photo quote and found your blog. It's a good read. I'm giving up my standard of perfection. I'm holding on to grace.

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