I had a great conversation with a friend via Facebook chat the other day, and thought I’d cut and paste the highlights for you all 🙂
The question was raised: how do I know the difference between giving myself grace and indulging my struggles? How can I tell what I should be praying for? What does God want me to work on?
I shared that one of the keys is to practice self-acceptance.
Practicing acceptance is about accepting where and who you are today and at the same time, trusting that God cares about your personal growth. I believe we are called to practice acceptance not only of our circumstances, but of our limitations and strengths. Practicing acceptance is about trusting in the Creator and whom He made you to be, and trusting that He is also the Potter and is in the process of molding us.
I always love to share this: If you are a believer in and a follower of Jesus, You & God are friends. I said to my friend, just like in our friendship, if he offends me, or even if I see that there’s an area in him where he could use some growth, I would tell him.
So will God! And He’s even more emotionally healthy than I am 😉 So if we’re in communion with Him, we don’t need to go on a fishing expedition to figure out what needs to be changed. He will reveal it to us.
He is also our Father, and a good, healthy Father disciplines His kids with gentleness, not punishment. The goal of discipline is growth, not shame, and definitely not condemnation. God will gently reveal to us, with His still small voice, the areas that could use some work. As I shared above, we don’t want to go fishing in areas that God isn’t calling us to fish in. Instead of making a to-do list of “Areas I need to be aware of” (though it’s not bad to be aware of them), we are to allow God to show us those issues when He wants to.
Our prayer should then be, “God, I trust You, as my Father and as my friend, to continue to work in me. I trust that You will reveal to me, whether in prayer or as I go about my daily life, what I need to be aware of and what needs work. I open my heart to Your discipline and Your still small voice.”