This isn’t what it sounds like.
I certainly do encourage you to give others grace even when you think they don’t deserve it.
Christ has given us the most amazing gift of grace which was so undeserving to every single one of us.
He took man’s sin and washed us all clean of it with his blood.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9
And in Ephesians 4:32, he asks that we”Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
This means that we take others’ wrongdoings toward us and wash that slate clean with our forgiveness.
That is giving grace to others.
If you already practice giving grace and forgiveness, that’s fantastic. And if you don’t, pray on it – it’s Biblical.
But the real question is: why in the world would you give others grace, if you cannot give yourself grace first?
The Bible also says, to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you’re not loving yourself and you’re commanded to love your neighbor as yourself, are you breaking commandment or are you not loving your neighbors or are you not loving your neighbors?
The purpose of this passage was to make it clear it’s important to love your neighbors as much you should love yourself. Should is emphasized because this is what He expected. He expects you to love yourself so much that you should be commanded to love others just as much.
The root of any good thing you will ever accomplish throughout your lifetime begins with you.
This means you should believe in yourself, you should love yourself, you should take care of yourself, and you should forgive yourself.
Every single one of us fails throughout our lifetime. But it always appears that our hardest critics our own selves – and we constantly beat ourselves up for it.
But there’s no way we will ever accomplish any of our goals if all we ever do is beat ourselves for the things we should have done and the things we have done wrong in the past.
We are wasting valuable time dwelling in anger towards ourselves rather than learning what we’ve done wrong and putting in more effort to succeed.
So, why in the world would you forgive the guy (or girl) who hit you? But not the B you made on an Anatomy and Physiology exam…
Why in the world would you forgive the person who shared publicly something you wanted kept private? But not the one bad essay you wrote…
Why in the world would you forgive the guy who called you a “whore” because you wouldn’t sleep with him? But not the homework you forgot to do…
Why in the world would you forgive your spouse for hurting your child? But not the time you showed up late for an appointment and missed it completely…
Why in the world would you forgive the person who keeps taking advantage of you, coming in and out of your life? But not yourself for accidentally sleeping in…
Why in the world would you forgive the random man or woman on the street who called you racial slurs? The man or woman who made fun of you for being gay? The man or woman who called your religion a joke? The man or woman who cussed at you for your political views? The man or woman who snickered about your weight?
And then proceed to not forgive yourself for the dinner you accidentally burnt.
By no means am I saying to not be selfless in your act of forgiveness. Do it as Christ would have done.
But being content in yourself is the first step to a lot of great things – happiness, love, and even forgiveness.
Chances are, if you are not content in yourself, you will never be able to reach your full potential of happiness; you will never love another person completely selflessly in the way that you could have; and you will never be able to completely forgive a person to the point that you are no longer bitter over the situation.
Remember it all starts with you – anything you want to be successful begins with you. It takes confidence in yourself to accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish.
Practice self-love and practice self-forgiveness.
Give yourself some grace.
Grace wins every time.
Isaiah 46:4 // Brandi Addison