We’ve all felt it at some point. That overwhelming need to do more and be more for our children and families.
Sometimes, that need comes from a good place. Sometimes, there are things we really should change and do better. But sometimes, it comes from a place of completely unrealistic expectations, and being too critical of ourselves.
If you’re having one of those days today, please see 3 truths you need to hear on a bad day.
It’s a fine line.
To be honest, this is always a tough topic for me. There is a fine line between giving grace as needed, and giving ourselves permission to remain in sin. I see so many articles right now saying, “give yourself grace.” And I get where there are coming from. There are many mamas who are being way too hard on themselves .
I know some of my readers are on one end, striving for perfection and feeling like a failure when you don’t meet the impossible standards that you set for yourself. And some of my readers may be sitting down on the job and need to be lovingly encouraged to step it up a bit.
I’m not judging!
The truth is, most of us struggle with a bit of each, and we need to understand the difference so that we’re giving ourselves grace, while still striving to give our families our best.
Condemnation vs. Conviction
The Lord is so good and merciful that he convicts us when we are out of His will. Yes, this is a mercy. “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” How much worse it would be if God allowed us to stray without conviction or chastisement!
But, we also have an accuser who is throwing condemnation at us, and we need to know the difference and here are just a few things to consider:
- Consider the source.
Conviction comes from Christ, while condemnation is a tool of Satan. The next time you feel that twinge of guilt, be realistic with yourself about where it is coming from.
- Consider what it requires.
No fluff here. Jesus calls us to a high standard. He doesn’t just ask us to give him a lot, he asks us to give him everything. But His focus is on obedience and not results.Condemnation calls you to impossible standards that you can never reach, and tells you that you’re failing when you don’t see the results you want, despite your actual best effort.
- Consider the focus.
Conviction focuses on the standards that the Lord has given us through His Holy Word. The Bible should be our standard, 100% of the time.Condemnation (and mommy guilt) so often focuses on the comparison game. This focuses on what others are doing or saying, comparing ourselves to those seemingly perfect images we see on social media. Notice I said “seemingly perfect.” Because no mother or family is perfect. None. You may see a perfect, pretty smiling family, but social media doesn’t show you the screaming fit that happened just before that photo, or the dirty dishes hiding in the sink in the other room.
- Consider the time frame.
Conviction focuses on now and the future–through Christ you can meet the call that He has for you in motherhood, from this moment on. “Forgetting those things that are behind …”So often, condemnation focuses on the past. All the ways that you have failed your children from birth till now come back to haunt you. Some of these may be real, some imagined, but we can’t do anything about any of them. All we can do now is move forward. But Satan loves to bring up past failures as a way to discourage us from working to improve right now.
Growing through Conviction
The Lord can use our mistakes to teach us and grow us. But if you’re focusing on your failures in a way that beats you down and makes you wallow in despair–that is probably not conviction from the Lord and is maybe a time when you need to hear those truths for a bad day, and give yourself some grace.
The most important thing is for you to be willing to search your heart and know which category you fall into. Hear grace from God when you need it, but also have a heart open to instruction through conviction.