Extending Grace to … Me!

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I’ve yet to meet a person who never makes a mistake. But I’ve met plenty who hang on to each blunder far longer than is healthy.

They relive it repeatedly, “kicking” themselves harder with each replay—unwilling to forgive. Often these are the same people who are the first to extend a hand of sympathy, encouragement, and forgiveness to their neighbors when they err.

They extend grace freely to those around them, but can’t seem to find themselves worthy of the same courtesy.

If I’m honest, I fall into this category of people. When I make a mistake, I actually feel physically sick. I would do anything to push the rewind button. To make it right. To start over.

There are countless occasions when I misstepped or misspoke. I’ve fretted and worried over each one. And to what end? Did it erase the mistake? Could I take my words back? Could I redo my action or inaction? Hardly.

Those of us who are slow to mete out forgiveness to ourselves would do well to observe the life of King David (2 Samuel 12).

David greatly loved the Lord, but he let selfishness control his life on more than one occasion. Each time, though, the king repented and rested in God’s grace, extending that grace to himself. Not excusing his behavior, but not defining his life by it either.

One particular account of David’s misdeeds grabs my attention more than others, likely, because it involves a mother and her child: In the throes of passion and lust, David committed adultery with a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. This resulted in the conception of his son.

To cover up his sin, the king later murdered Bathsheba’s husband. In the end, David’s actions led to the death of his innocent babe.

As awful as David’s choices were at the time, wisdom prevailed when dealing with its aftermath.

Instead of letting the consequences of his actions cripple both his personal life and his reign, he found the strength to extend himself some grace.

He grieved, sought the Lord’s forgiveness, and did what he could to make things right again. And then he moved on with ruling Israel.

King David’s response to his sin is a great model for us to emulate.

If we hang on to each past mistake, we begin doubting our capabilities and make ourselves less available for God’s work. We must move past the “If I’d only’s” and “What if’s.”

If we hang on to past mistakes, we begin doubting our capabilities, making ourselves less available for God’s work. Click To Tweet

What’s said is said; what’s done is done. We can offer to help remedy the situation if possible.

But other than that there is no way to undo what is done, no matter how badly we may want to. We are often our worst critic, and the “accuser” won’t hesitate to whisper our failures.

We are often our worst critic, and the “accuser” won’t hesitate to whisper our failures. Click To Tweet

But there are some practical steps we see repeated in David’s life that I’ve found helpful when tempted to harbor self-accusation:

  1. Pray about the situation first. Repent, seeking God’s forgiveness and grace.
  2. Remedy the situation in whatever way possible. Sometimes the apology is all that can be offered.
  3. Realize you are not an infallible human being and will make mistakes. Remind yourself of those times when faults of yours were redeemed. Nail the mistakes of our past and those we’ll make in the future to the cross.

When you’re doling out grace, don’t forget to include yourself as a recipient. Remember, mistakes are almost always a bigger deal in our minds than in reality.

When you’re doling out grace, don’t forget to include yourself as a recipient. Click To Tweet

So instead of being bound as a prisoner to your past, grow from the failures—extend the grace we so easily give to others to yourself. Forgive and move on to make a difference for the Kingdom.

“So we aren’t depressed. But even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day. Our temporary minor problems are producing an eternal stockpile of glory for us that is beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:16–17).

Reflections:  Are there mistakes you continue to batter yourself about? Does the accuser continue to whisper your faults to you?

Hold fast to the grace we are given through Christ Jesus, and choose today to extend that grace to yourself!

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

7 comments on “Extending Grace to … Me!
  1. Kathy Rempe says:

    Julie, wonderful thoughts. Once again I am challenged and inspired. I love your style of writing as well. One note, you might look at the sentence where you used infallible. I think the word not is missing before infallible? Thank you for sharing your faith journey with us. I learn so much from your writing. I am telling people about your blog. Kathy Rempe

    • juliesunne says:

      Thank you, Kathy. Your words encourage me and inspire me to continue when I doubt my calling. Thanks for catching my error! It is fixed, and I now will apply that grace I spoke of to me. Blessings to you, my friend.

  2. Pat says:

    Thank you for your transparent encouragement with Scripture and self examination. I have been discipling a land that really needs to read this, so I am going to copy it and give it to her! You communicated it right where she is and where she can understand and apply this!! By printing it, she can reread it over and over!

    Thanks for reminding us of Gods love and forgiveness and grace in the process.

    • juliesunne says:

      Thank you, Pat, for your gracious words. I pray the Holy Spirit will transform my words into reality for your friend, so her life can be renewed by the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus.

  3. Oh Julie … I am so grateful that you commented on my (in)Courage post today so I could find you. I really needed this reminder. I made a silly mistake this week I have been just sick over it all day … even though I know I need to let it go. Thank you for this truthful reminder.

    • juliesunne says:

      You’re most welcome, Angela! In the moment, it is terribly hard to see our mistake in context, in the “big picture.” Letting go of the guilt is really a form of worship: Believing God’s love covers a multitude of sins and that through His grace, we are constantly renewed. May you find it in your heart to extend Christ’s forgiveness and mercy to yourself today.

  4. juliesunne says:

    Thanks for the linkup, Kevin. Wonderfully, insightful post on growing in grace. All for His glory!

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