"Learn to see yourself as you are, and accept your weaknesses until it pleases God to heal you. Your goal is to be as patient with yourself as you are with your neighbor."
How much grace do I extend to myself, and how much grace do I extend to my neighbor? When my neighbor screws up, I get it. I understand. I let it go. When I screw up, somehow I feel like it's the end of the world. I'm a failure. I can't believe I would do such a stupid thing. I won't let myself get away with it.
"Learn to live with your failures."
Why do I hold myself to
so high an impossible standard? It seems I'm thinking too highly of myself -- that the beating up of my failures is actual a sign that I am idolizing myself.
"Do you know what would be best for you? Stop trying to appear so mentally and spiritually perfect before God and man."
Doesn't Paul tell us to brag about our failures? Doesn't our continued failures highlight the fact that we are fallen and we need Christ? When I fail, why is my immediate reaction to belittle myself? Shouldn't I immediately acknowledge my weakness and see my need for God?
"'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Cor. 12:9
Jesus tells us that apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:5). This is good news! I am thankful that I cannot do it on my own -- that I fail and that I see those failures. If I never saw myself fail, I would be living under the delusion that I could do it on my own. And I can't. And that's a wonderful thing.
"Simply trust God. If you come to Him, He will give you all you need to serve Him. You really need to believe that God keeps His word."
"Abram believed and it was counted to him as righteousness." Gen. 15:6
Excerpts are from Fenelon's The Seeking Heart.