“Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace.”Hebrews 12:15 (NCV)
How do you learn to “R.E.L.A.X.” in the liberating grace of God?
R—Realize nobody’s perfect.
Psalm 119:96 is a verse directed toward God, and it declares, “Nothing is perfect except your words” (TLB). What society tells you isn’t perfect. What popular opinion tells you isn’t perfect. What you learned growing up isn’t perfect. But God’s Word is perfect. When you get in the Bible and build your life on it, you will have a perfect foundation.
E—Enjoy God’s unconditional love.
The Bible says, “See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children—think of it—and we really are!” (1 John 3:1 TLB). When you become a follower of Christ, you take on a role of service to him—but you’re more than a servant! The Bible says you become a child of the King. A servant is accepted on the basis of what he does; a child is accepted on the basis of who he is. A servant starts the day anxious and worried that her work will please her master; a child rests in the secure love of her family. A servant is accepted because of his workmanship; a child is accepted because of his relationship.
L—Let God handle things.
What do you do about the uncontrollable things in life? “Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). When you’re fishing and you cast a line, there comes a point where you have to take your finger off the button and let it go. Just like the essence of casting is letting go, to overcome perfectionism you have to let go and let God do his work.
A—Act in faith, not fear.
Remember how you got into God’s family in the first place. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith” (NIV). Grace is the only way to get into heaven. You’ll never be good enough, and you can’t buy your way in. It’s a free gift from God.
X—Exchange your perfectionism for God’s peace.
Perfectionism destroys peace. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest . . . Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (The Message). What a deal!
You’re going to fail a lot in life. But you don’t have to worry about it if you’ve received God’s grace. In fact, there’s only one failure you ever need to worry about: “Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15 NCV). Receive it right now, and then relax!
Talk It Over
What troubles, grudges, or guilt can you let go of when you remember nobody’s perfect?
What aspects of God’s love can help you relax?
How do you need to respond today to God’s offer of grace?
Holy Spirit help me to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.(2 Peter 3: 18)