No one likes to share their sins. Confession of sin the hardest part of the Christian life. The habit of repentance is difficult for all believers to develop. In these moments we come to the conclusion that God is god and we are not. In our sin, we have usurped the authority of the Lord Jesus and placed ourselves on the throne of our hearts. In confession, we take the time to reposition our hearts back under the authority of Jesus our King. In that moment Jesus reminds us that his grace is sufficient in our weakness, as he heals and restores us.
Often in my life have I neglected the grace that Jesus freely offers his people in our repentance. A clear example of this is in my struggle with anger and self-acceptance as a child of God. I would often (& sometimes still do) get angry when things don’t happen the way I desired. As a result, I have hurt some people, and I have lost some friends over my foolish behavior.
When I was growing up and into my twenties, I would often lash out at the people who I felt had wronged me or disappointed me. I felt that my plans were being disrupted, as I was completely focused on myself. Then as the Lord worked on my heart, I would not be mad at people that often, but I would get mad at my circumstances. For example, an unexpected bill would come in the mail and I would get angry that we didn’t have enough money to pay it. Also, I would get mad at myself. I would get angry at myself because I don’t feel good enough because I didn’t achieve enough. I didn’t recognize this anger that I had towards myself until recently.
The other day I was sitting in my living room with my wife. I was having one of my moments where I was angry at myself, but I was blaming it on something else. Eventually, in the midst of my rant, she turned to me and shouted: “Just stop being angry with yourself!” She eventually said “Yes, you are not as angry as you used to be. You aren’t angry at people or circumstances, but you are angry at yourself.” I have to say those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt them pierce right through me. I knew for the first time that I hand not accepted God’s grace for the things that I felt like I failed at, or how disappointed I was in myself.
I had to receive God’s grace for myself, not in saving way, but in sustaining way. I had to recognize again, as always, that I’m not sufficient enough to accomplish anything. Anything and everything I do, I do it because Christ is working in me and through me. My anger was a failure to remember that God works through our failures. Accepting yourself is great, but accepting yourself is not sufficient. Recognizing that God accepts you in Christ Jesus is the beginning of spiritual and emotional health. Grace yourself today, and watch God be faithful.
As Paul writes in his second letter to the Corinthian church…
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)
Originally published at christopherscottolson.com on April 11, 2017.