The recording plays every day: “you can’t do anything right…you’re worthless…others see your faults…you will never change!” For many of us, and I would go so far as to suggest for most of us, we hear one or more of these messages from the time our eyes open in the morning until they close at night. Perhaps then, even our dreams continue to remind us that we are far from the image we wish to personify.

Psychology counselors try hard to guide us away from personal beatdowns by redirecting our focus to the “good” in our nature instead of the negative. The problem with this approach and to remain positive we must avoid failure at all costs, or the recording plays again. But, failure is certain because it’s a part of our human nature. No one is perfect! Popular self-help books continue attracting readers in search of a “feel good” mentality. Something else to consider is that we are not always the victim of negative messaging; we are often the author, which is a sobering thought. Again, no one is perfect.

I grew up in a generation and family environment where good performance obtained praise and mistakes, accidental or otherwise received punishment. My perception of God, therefore, became warped. I felt accepted or rejected by Him depending upon my actions. As a child, I feared God, never knowing if I were good enough for Him. The idea of performance-based love from God continued into my young adult years. Then, through The Bible, God’s Word, I learned about the offering of grace through Jesus Christ. Grace is a gift, having absolutely nothing to do with performance. Grace cannot be earned, and grace will not be denied to anyone seeking it. Once I understood this incredible truth, I not only wanted it for myself but desired to share His grace with others.

Looking for the good in everyone, including ourselves is a beneficial exercise making the world a more beautiful place. But, if only recognizing human imperfection would lead all of us to Jesus, The Giver of grace, with a thankful and generous heart; now, that is a blessing!

Sherry Sharp