by Debbie Wilson
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV
Before I was even out of my driveway, the GPS app on my phone said I’d arrive five minutes late. Groan. I was on my way to a group that had invited me to visit after discussing one of my books. My cheeks burned at the thought of walking in late.
Why can’t you leave on time? What’s wrong with you? My thoughts chided me.
This line of thinking neither helped me make up for lost time nor prepared my heart to encourage the women I’d see. I thought of a novel I’d recently finished with an imperfect heroine. If she ran late, I empathized with her. So why was I so hard on myself?
I shifted my thoughts off myself and onto God. I thanked him for making me who I am. I asked him to help me with my weakness, to work this situation out for good—and to help me arrive on time!
A woman pulled in behind me as I parked my car. She jumped out of her car and raced to open the door. “I was so glad to see you drive up. If I walk in with the speaker, I’m not late.” We both laughed.
God used my timing, or my lack thereof, to build a bond. I entered relaxed and happy to be there. Would that have happened if I’d stayed self-absorbed, brooding over my weaknesses?
Reading how God dealt with his flawed children in Hebrews 11 has helped me give myself grace when I mess up. God gave Jacob a spectacular dream in which the Lord stood at the top of a ladder that spanned the gap between heaven and earth, with angels ascending and descending it.
God blessed Jacob in the dream and promised to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan. He was bequeathing the promise of Abraham. What amazed me about this scene is its timing. Jacob had just deceived his father and cheated his brother Esau.
God showed similar grace to Abraham when he lied about the nature of his relationship with Sarah, and to Samson with all of his moral failures. If God is patient with his children, shouldn’t we emulate him and extend grace to ourselves as well? Living in regret doesn’t move us forward. But if we surrender our flaws and flops to God, he will use them for his glory and our good.
Perhaps the key to accepting ourselves—which precedes the ability to unconditionally love others—comes from seeing ourselves as our Lord sees us. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT).
When he looks at us, he sees what we will be. The ancients of Hebrews 11 confirm the hope of this truth: “And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory” (Romans 8:30 nlt).
Adapted with permission from Little Faith, Big God.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
Bio: Debbie W. Wilson is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary God. Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie writes and speaks to connect sojourners to the heart of Christ. She and her husband Larry founded Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit ministry offering life and relationship counseling and Bible studies. Despite time in Boston, the Midwest, and Southern California, she still says y’all. Her family, which includes two mischievous standard poodles, calls North Carolina home. Find free resources to refresh your faith and connect with Debbie at debbieWwilson.com.
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