The Grace Course: Lesson 2: Innocent!

Expectations.

I hate that word. I may say it often, but I place expectations on myself on a regular basis. Expectations that I convince myself that my family has placed on me, that God has placed on me, that my employer has placed upon me.

Now some of these places due have expectations, after all you get hired to do a certain job and you are expected to do the tasks to make sure the work is done.

Your family has expectations but we allow our minds to take them overboard. I am a middle child, and although I live the farthest from home I feel that sometimes it is my job to fix and patch any problems that may be happening, or fill that middle child role as the ‘peacemaker’ and to not cause problems or conflict and go along with everything. It might be simple things, it doesn’t need to be as complex, just recently I’ve realized that since, out of my siblings, I am the only one without children, I feel like I am expected to go on vacations with my mom, now there is nothing wrong with a vacation with my mom but by doing so I’ve ignored seeing the places I’ve dreamed of seeing because I know it is not her thing.

I serve in church, if someone calls with a last minute paint job or task that needs done no matter how late I do everything I can to make sure I can help. If I am not able to serve that night I feel guilty that I am letting a leader down, my church down, and overall God down.

Currently I not only work for my church but I serve on the Creative team and in the Children’s ministry, on certain Sundays I am serving through all services feeling guilty that I am not sitting in service in learning but at the same time feeling guilty about asking for a night off of serving so that I can sit in service.

One of the things that hit me most in lesson 2 was the discussion on guilt and how guilt is not a feeling. “True guilt has nothing to do with feelings. It’s about hard facts.”

Now I know that we feel guilty about a lot larger things than what I’ve listed, that there are sins we feel guilty about, but I am trying to show you that guilt is not always about the big things, we feel guilty about minor things, things that we feel called to do, guilty because of missing church, not reading our Bible.

These are signs that our feelings are lying to us. That instead of trusting and believing the grace that we have been giving we are relying on our feelings and on works to be living up to God’s expectations.

However, God does not have a list of expectations for us.

He does not place guilt within us. Through Jesus’ death, He took all of our guilt to the cross. We have been forgiven, God, through Jesus, sees us as forgiven, as pure and clean. The guilt is unnecessary.

God’s grace isn’t only for the moments when we are reading our Bible or serving our community. Grace is for every moment of everyday, God doesn’t pick and choose when to offer us grace, He continually extends grace to us!

 

“God doesn’t want you to feel guilty when you’re not guilty! He wants you to rejoice! He wants to restore your joy in life. God loves you before you sin. God loves you after you sin. God even loves you in the midst of your sinning though He never loves the sin. God will never turn His hatred of sin into hatred for us.”

Grace leads us to living a righteous life.

There is no condemnation.

 

Romans 8:1-2

“Don’t So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.live up to God’s expectations”

-Elle

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