“DON’T GIVE YOURSELF THAT MUCH CREDIT.”
I’ll never forget what God said to me several years ago. I’ll also never forget how He said it. He said it with humor and a hint of loving sarcasm…
It was a long day. I pulled into the driveway of the rental we were living in at the time. I was feeling rather defeated. Physically, things were stacked against me and my family. The odds were against us, again. I truly did not know how much longer I could fight the good fight of faith, and yet, I knew I did not have any other option other than to keep trusting God to do what only He could. Deep down, I knew what my problem was; I was focusing on myself and my own insufficiencies. In so doing, I was slipping into a form of self-idolatry. I was focusing on self, self, and more self rather than focusing on the awesomeness of God.
I got out of my car and stood with the driver’s side door open, my right elbow resting on the top of the door. I was staring at the crepe myrtle tree thinking, “I can’t believe what a mess I’ve made of my life.”
I wasn’t even talking to God. In fact, I didn’t think about Him listening to my thoughts, but here’s what God said, “Don’t give yourself that much credit.”
I laughed and said, “What?!”
To which God impressed upon me the awesomeness of His grace. Essentially, He said that it is His grace that even had me where I was. It was His sovereignty that brought me this far. He reminded me that I was born into a family of addictions and abuse, but that I was no longer living in such circumstances. I had a Godly, loving husband and two children, Faith and Jacob, who were both Christians. We may not have had a lot materially, but we had enough love between us to warm a house seven times over. He reminded me of what Paul preached that Jesus Christ is the only righteous judge.
If you think about it, only you know how hard it is to be you. You, the one who empathizes with yourself the most and who knows the difficult ins and outs of being you. You, who doesn’t even have to explain to yourself how hard it is to be you, You. Even you cannot judge yourself justly. You would have to go back more than 10 generations to see the sins of your forefathers and then try to defend and pardon yourself for all the things that you’ve endured simply as a result of being born into the lineage you were born into. And truthfully, going back 20 generations wouldn’t even be enough because we can’t even judge ourselves justly.
In fact, if you think about it, aren’t we often our worst enemies? Aren’t we critical and unforgiving of ourselves for the seemingly smallest little mistake? The truth is, Jesus is the only righteous judge. So, when God said, “Don’t give yourself that much credit,” I recognized that His grace has me in the palm of His hand, saving me and you from our forefather’s sins as well as our own, daily. In close, I like how God worded it. I love how God set me straight that day. I’m not going to give myself that much credit anymore because I can’t withstand the condemnation that comes with it. But when God gets all the credit, we are drawn to His grace-filled face and His eternal open arms of redemption.
So, give yourself a break today, and “Don’t give yourself that much credit.”
Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of hisholiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.
Originally published Tuesday, 14 November 2017.