This morning, as I was driving to work, I saw a sign that said: “Your life is based on the choices you make, always has been, always will.”
Now, as a counselor, I do believe this at some level. Often, there are consequences of the choices we make. Even in difficult situations that weren’t the result of your choices (for example, childhood abuse), how you perceive that situation will often have a significant impact on your life.
However, our pastor has also been speaking about God’s grace as we come up to Christmas. How God takes us in our shattered, sinful state and creates a beautiful new creation. I’m always inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” It is a powerful reminder that I am a new creation, not because I’m super awesome or I pray a ton, but because of God’s goodness and grace.
I started to think, what should my life be if it wasn’t for God’s grace?
If it wasn’t for God’s grace, I would have had way more legal issues than I do based on bad decisions I made as a teenager.
If it wasn’t for God’s grace, I would be crippled by my mental health.
If it wasn’t for God’s grace, I wouldn’t have a spouse who loves me in spite of my negativity and criticism.
If it wasn’t for God’s grace, I wouldn’t have a group of people who love me in spite of my moodiness and selfishness.
If it wasn’t for God’s grace, my life would be completely and utterly different.
Because the truth is that while some of my choices have been good, many of them haven’t been. I’ve been cruel, sinful, gossipy, angry and impulsive.
And yet, God has blessed me with a life beyond my wildest dreams. Sure, I have difficulties (I’ve documented my struggles with mental health on my blog), but overall, my life is full of beauty. Full of people who love me unconditionally. Full of a beautiful family. Full of a job I love, a church I love, and a support network that rocks. I am not a slave to my sin and poor choices because Paul writes that: “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14 NIV).
God’s grace means that in spite of my bad decisions and my sinful heart, I am truly a beautiful creation, in spite of being me.
For those of you struggling today, try filling in the blank after the statement: if it wasn’t for God’s grace, ________________________. Sometimes we become so focused on the day-to-day difficulties that we forget the big picture of God’s grace and blessings. So be honest with yourself. If it wasn’t for God’s grace, where would your life be?
I originally published this on Uniquely Yours Ministries.