I have spent many years of my Christian life trying to make myself into this picture~perfect Christian I thought God and everyone else expected me to be. I was taught what was expected of me as soon as I became a believer. Teachers, leaders, and even well meaning friends led me on this path away from a close relationship with my Lord. I also take responsibility because I took their word for it rather than searching and trying to understand Scripture for myself. Sure, I studied alot, I had to, as I was a Sunday School teacher, but the teachings I had in my head always got stuck.
Somehow, I thought after I became a follower of Jesus I had to do every thing right to keep Him happy with me, to make Him love me, to gain His approval and that of other people. Can you imagine how many times I failed? Over and over again, which led me to feel like just that, a failure. Feeling like a failure often makes a person want to give up trying instead of pushing forward. I often gave up, but kept up appearances so no one would know I had failed.
Then a friend led me to the truth of God’s amazing grace. I knew I had received His mercy at salvation, but I also received His never-ending, always outpouring grace! This grace is all I need to please God! This grace is what makes me whole, righteous and saintly in His sight! The day I believed Jesus died for me, that He was buried and was resurrected for me, it was that day I became a grace full woman.
My days are not so much filled with striving and working anymore in order to please God. He is pleased with me. His love never changes, never weakens or strengthens based on what I do or what I don’t do. There is freedom in Christ. No, it is not a license to sin as some would have you believe. It is freedom to love and be loved by an incredible, extravagant, holy God. Out of our love for Him pours good works He created ahead of time for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.