Not Being So Hard on Yourself

Summary: Being hard on oneself may sound spiritual (I.E. I just want to be more like Jesus!), but without learning to give ourselves grace, we can call fall into guilt, self condemnation and self hatred.

The past few weeks Jesus has led me to make time on my day off to “review the film” What went right, what went wrong and what can be changed.

As I sat down for the film session, I was ready to hear all the things that needed improvement.

As I closed my eyes, Jesus rattled off 10 areas where I did an excellent job and a whopping 1 area to improve upon. It helped to totally change my perspective of God.

I couldn’t help but laugh, here I was going into the film room with a mindset of what I was doing wrong and instead God flips the mindset into what I was doing right!

Totally God!

The more and more I understand God’s nature, he isn’t about berating me into make changes. He does it in a kind and loving way and it is for our benefit!

Romans 2:4 says,

“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
Repentance simply means a changing of one’s mind. So in the example above about the film session, I repented of falling into self condemnation and hatred into loving myself and giving grace to myself right where I am at.

Prayer: Father I thank you for every reader. I pray that you help remind each reader of how kind and loving  you are. Holy Spirit, help us not be hard on ourselves for the sake of sounding spiritual . Help us to recognize where we are doing what is right and make note of it. And if we need a correction, you do it in a kind and loving way. In Jesus name! Amen!

Comments and Application:  Are there areas in your life where perhaps you are too hard on yourself? How can you show more grace to yourselves in those times. I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Not Getting Ahead of God

Recently, I felt there were many changes to make in my life. This is true, but seemed so overwhelming. I didn’t know where to begin. I felt the Lord impressed on me to focus 3 things, (Serving at church, Taking medicine and working).

A huge sigh of relief. He wasn’t asking me to do it all at once!

There have been times in the past where I would make many changes at once that I would start off with the best intentions, but fall miserably.

I have noticed so much more peace in my life as I partner with God in doing what He wants and not more. That’s wisdom!“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)

It reminds me of my old running days. I recall a marathon I was running with a 3:10 pace group. We were all having fun and encouraging one another. Around mile 18, I felt like I was doing fantastic. So I ran ahead of the group. A few miles later, I slowed to a walk. Shortly after, I watched the 3:10 pace group whiz by me.  I still finished the race, but stumbled to the finish line about 12 minutes slower.

How often has this been the case in my relationship with God? A lot.

Me: “I am feeling pretty good, let me run ahead of Your timing on things.

God: “There’s grace for that, but it isn’t my best.”

In the past, would I run ahead and fall miserably. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) 

I sense I am entering a season of relying on grace still, but an emphasis on truth. What would God do in this situation?

For example, I was sitting surfing the web when I saw the dishwasher was done at my parents house. Here is the dialogue that ensued:

Me: “I’ll do it later”

God: “It’s best to do it now.”

Me: “Give me ten minutes”

Holy Spirit/Dr. Charles Stanley sermon: “Partial obedience is still disobedience!”

Laughing and stomping, I got up and just did it! Thanks Dr. Stanley!

As I laid in bed that evening, I felt God molding my heart to be obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Truly amazing! Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. (Jeremiah 18:6)

So my question for you today is, “What is God asking you to do that you are putting off?”

Suffering is not always from the enemy, but also not doing what God is asking us to do.

My encouragement is to take a step of obedience, stay in His Word, and do not procrastinate. It will help to walk in step with God.

Prayer: Father, Thank you for the Grace you continue to give in our lives. I pray that as we make changes in our lives to be more like Jesus, that the Holy Spirit encourages us along the way. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Restoration God

Yesterday’s blog post was about how God was (figuretively) leading me from being a catepillar to a butterfly. Today, I want to talk about the God of Restoration.

You see when I was in the “cocoon” phase, God asked me to do a lot of things that were uncomfortable in the moment. From walking away from certain relationships to starting to tithe my income, it seemed that God was taking from me.

At the time, I didn’t understand that the same God that takes away can restore as well!

Psalm 51:12 says:

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

You see when God brings you through the valley it is never His intention to leave you there. It is ALWAYS His purpose to bring you through to the other side.  What is on the other side?

Galatians 5:22 says:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Now about this time last year, God gave me a small glimpse of what this new life would be like.  It lasted for about a day.  During the day, I treated myself to an ice cream cup.

And a funny thing happen.

When I swiped my debit card to pay for the ice cream, I felt this radiating joy spread throughout my body. For those of you that know me, spending any kind of money use to always be a painful task for me to do. I was so uptight about even spending a dollar.

If you are in a valley season right now, my encouragement to you today is to keep pressing on.  You know what your dreams and desires are. You may even know what God’s will is for your life. God not only wants to, but WILL see you through to the other side.

It’s Harvest Time Part 2 (Grace vs. Shame)

Friday, I began the process of letting go the fear of death through a technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing).  EMDR is known for being the equivalent of 12 sessions of talk therapy.  Towards the end of session, the leader asked us to imagine the doors in the back of the room were opening and asked us who we saw.

I saw Jesus and I started bursting into tears.  It was a catharsis moment that I had been waiting for so long. The next 24 hours took their toll on me.  You see this was the fear and shame I have been hanging on for so long.  The process is now under way of burning these weeds in my life.

Saturday afternoon, there was a deep root of shame in me..  You see I have a very critical inner voice that questions nearly every move I make “Should I of made that purchase?” “Should I of said that?” “Did I do this the right way?”

Now I know on a rational level, I can’t continue to live a shame-based life. However, my emotional mind hasn’t caught up yet.  I can quote from Romans 8:1 all day which states, “There is now no condemnation for those in Jesus Christ.” But it doesn’t stop the inner critic in my head.  I look forward to removing that shame in the coming weeks and replacing that with grace.

You see shame says that love is conditional.  It can be based on performance or achievement.  Grace says, “Ok Marc, you had a tough 24 hours.  It’s ok that you did and it makes perfect sense based on the facts of the day.  I love you anyways. I love you when you are at your best and I love you when you are at your worst.”

Grace is ultimately how God sees each and everyone of his children.  You could make the worst decisions for the rest of life and God would say, “I love you anyway my son/daughter.”.

Side note for my future wife, if we have two daughters, their names have already been picked out. Joy Kutylowski and Grace Kutylowski.

Prayer: Heavenly Father thank you for sending Your son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.  Thank you that Your love is not conditional.  You paid our sins debt in full.  Thank you for replacing our shame with grace.  We love you Lord in Jesus name. Amen.

Fundraising Update: Thank you so much for your financial support to support my 6 week stay in Memphis.  Just in the first week, you helped to raise over $1,160!  Thank you!  You can continue to donate at the “Fundraiser” link at the top of the page.

God’s Grace

What is grace?

Well the Christian definition of grace is, “of the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”

The ultimate sign of God’s Grace is Jesus dying at Calvary for our sins. Because Jesus died for your sins, and paid your sins debt in full, we have a cup full of grace that will never run dry. Because of this we can do NOTHING to earn His grace. It is already a gift from God!

Ephesians 4:7 says, “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” What an awesome promise from God!”

How has God shown me his unmerited favor in my own life?
-Having me walk away from a from hitting a bus head on and walking away without a scratch.
-Providing for me when I didn’t see a way.
-Starting to reveal His purpose for me.
-Giving me a shooting star for a promise.

These are just a few examples for myself. So how has God shown you His Grace throughout your own life? I encourage you to do so.  Please tell me in the comments below.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how grateful we are that you lavish is with your grace and mercy. We love you for sending your son Jesus Christ to die on the cross at Calvary to pay our sin debt in full. We are so in awe that we can do nothing to gain your grace.  It is a gift you have given to us as children of God. We love you Lord. As we about to embark on another week, continue to fill us with Your grace that only you can provide. Help us to give Your grace to everyone we encounter this week. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

Shoutout to Amy Licata for the suggestion of this topic. If you would like me to cover a specific topic. Please fill out the information under the “Blog Ideas” tab located at the top of the page.