Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 19, 2009

embrace grace, forget regret

Honesty would declare that I struggle with selfishness, and spend far too much time frustrated over “my failures”.  It wouldn’t surprise me if you faced some of those same struggles yourself.  And you may even relate to what a friend of mine expressed, just last week. After a bout with anger, he stated, “I can’t believe I did that”.

Each one of our lives are littered with moments we wish we could take back.  God understands those moments, and meets us with open arms when we come to Him with our failures.  But we so often get in the way, choosing to focus on regret, and what was not accomplished, instead of embracing and accepting the boundless grace He so freely offers.

As we approach the homestretch on another year, embrace your weakness and accept insight from author Brennan Manning.  He shares in his book, “The Ragamuffin Gospel”, a prayer one morning, in which he heard a word from the Lord:

Little brother, I witnessed a Peter who claimed that
he did not know me, a James who wanted power in
return for service to the kingdom, a Philip who failed
to see the Father in Me, and scores of disciples who
were convinced I was finished at Calvary. The New
Testament has many examples of men and women
who started out well and then faltered along the way.
Yet on Easter night I appeared to Peter. James is not
remembered for his ambition but for the sacrifice of
his life for me. Philip did see the Father in Me when
I pointed the way, and the disciples who despaired
had enough courage to recognize Me when we broke
bread at the end of the road to Emmaus. My point,
little brother, is this: I expect more failure from you
than you expect from yourself.

You will fail this week, of this you can be certain.  But be even more certain of the truth that the Father will not stop loving you.  Choose this week, to run the risk of failure with a fully devoted heart.  Listen to the words from the chorus of a hymn I remember first hearing as a child … “Only one life, so soon it will pass, only what’s done for Christ will last”.  With eyes that are open to others, there will be opportunities for you to bless and serve this week.  If we spend too much time focused on our own agenda (selfishness), or on how we may fail, the “what’s done for Christ” may never happen.

So as you begin another week, embrace your weakness, risk failure (remember He already knows we will), accept and be a conduit of His grace.  Can you think of someone in your life that might need that from you this week?!

II Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in
weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,
in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

The apostle Paul got it, and with that same heart attitude, we can too.  Be weak, embrace grace, and forget regret!

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