April 11, 2014

Stop with the Rules

I can be my own worst critic sometimes, and to be perfectly honest, no one is probably harder on me than I am on myself.

YUCK.

I hate even admitting that... to myself and to you, and realizing there's a lot of truth to it makes me sad. Jesus isn't even as hard on me as I am on myself. In fact, he's not hard on me at all. His heart towards me is mercy and grace and love... 

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." 
~ Romans 8:1-2

His voice is never condemning or shaming or blaming. He never says, "Get your act together. Now." like I sometimes say to myself. He's kind and gracious and patient and forgiving. Constantly and continually. All the time. He doesn't demand things from me, and get frustrated when I don't follow through. He doesn't hand me a list every morning and say, "Do these things. Get this stuff done. Live this way… and you'll be good with me." 

Nope. 

He doesn't do that. 

Oh, but I do that to myself.

(Insert pause, deep exhale, and sigh)

And that is so very sad… so terribly flawed and wrong, and it keeps me from experiencing and living in the freedom that Jesus gave his life for, the freedom he longs for me to know and experience. It keeps me from resting in his love and knowing his delight, and it causes me to strive and arrange and perform, which looks only like bondage and absolutely nothing like "just being."

So...

Stop with the rules, Jenny.




Enough already. Stop handing yourself a mental list of, "If I do these things today and act this way and look this way and pray this way and live this way and parent this way and wife this way and all the other ways, then I will be happy and good with myself." God does not love and accept you based on how well you perform. He loves and accepts you just as you are. Not as you could be, would be, should be, or will be. Just as you are. Right here. Right now. Today. Simply because you are his. Stop with the rules and the lists, and love and accept yourself just as Jesus does. Kindly give yourself the grace to be and the room to become.


"Come Jesus... I lay down the rules and the crazy lists that make me crazy, and I repent of my striving and arranging and performing ways. I welcome your love and mercy and forgiveness and grace. Heal my heart and set me free in ways I have yet to know, so I can run with abandon the race you've set before me. Living freely and just being."



It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (…and that includes the mental list of rules that we heap on our own heads and hearts.)
~ Galatians 5:1




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7 comments

  1. Replies
    1. I'm so glad, Jaime… I hope it was an encouragement to you! It's such a relief to lay down perfecting and performing… Let's share hearts over coffee again soon!

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    2. I'm still learning how to lay down perfectionism/performance, so it's always encouraging to read the bits of wisdom you have. Yes, let's meet again soon!

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  2. Always feel inspired when I visit you here, my friend...
    Thank you for sharing your words and your heart. : )
    Have a cozy weekend!

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    1. Aww… thank you, Billie Jo. Your words bless me as does our sweet, Instagram-born friendship!

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  3. I started reading this post on Saturday, but I knew it was going to hit home, so I set it aside. But it kept calling to me this morning. And now, I'm finally here reading the exact things that I have felt so much of this week. I especially needed to read the prayer at the end of your post..."I repent of my striving and arranging and performing ways." Thank you for the reminder that Jesus does not measure my worth the same way that I do. And also for the reminder that we're not alone in this journey. Your blog is lovely and always uplifting.

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    1. It blesses me to know this post encouraged you, Haunani! I'm still hanging on to these words myself… continuing to remember where and who my worth comes from. It's so easy to lose sight, isn't it? I'm grateful for this space where we can encourage each other and learn and walk together. Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

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