My struggle is that, too often, I apply it to everyone but myself.
In the past, like Adam, I'd hide myself from God if I felt like my walk didn't please Him. Thanks to His goodness and processing in me I don't hide anymore, and I know I do please Him; but I still judge myself harshly when I miss the mark. Much too often I still reach for my standards, even though Abba has long-since labeled the sharp-edged box of them, "Handle With Care".
Daddy's told my Pastor many times that although standards we hold in kindness, good behavior, consideration, and thoughtfulness aren't bad things, they cannot be thrust upon others who were not taught the same things or raised in the same ways. God told me once that I could not retrieve a file from a cabinet that never contained it. In other words, don't expect people to give what they don't have. Most important, don't blame them for not having it - pray for them, show them grace... LOVE them, and apply the same kindness to yourself.
I can honestly say I've pretty much gotten the hang of doing just as Daddy says for everyone except myself. Yeah, I know - but there it is. Sometimes I am still my own worst judge and enemy. Just being real with you.
Thankfully, Daddy is not nearly as hard on me as I am on myself (given my box of standards). The Lord is always true to Himself no matter how my course patterns fluctuate, and He mercifully continues to adjust my character, ideas, opinions, and thought processes. His gracious tenderness despite my flaws and errors strengthens my resolve to be more gracious towards myself, following His example of genuine love and good will.
He is the Bread of Life come down from Heaven to meet all my needs and fill even this challenging place within me. I'm not going to hang myself out to dry before the enemy's fear and mocking, because I know God can teach me to forgive myself whenever I sin, and to apply standards of righteousness to my life with grace. My future is secure in Jesus as long as I abide in Him and, folks, I'm not going anywhere. Peter is one of my favorite disciples and I love how he put it when Christ asked the twelve if they would turn away from Him, as many others had, upon hearing the truth that He is the Bread of Life.
"Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? YOU have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that You are that Christ, the Son of the Living God." (John 6:68-69)Amen. Like Peter, Saints, I know what side my bread is buttered on! ;o)
I might struggle at times, but I have resolved to obey the Lord. By Christ's power, I will yield to His mercy and goodness always, and let Him teach me to be kind to myself as Abba is kind to me. The Godhead wrapped Their loving arms around me in this Psalm which woke me this morning with the heart of mercy and thanks that Jesus' blood bought for me.
Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.
For You, O God, have heard my vows;
You have given me the heritage of those who reverently regard Your Name.
You will prolong the king's life, his years as many generations.
He shall abide before God forever.
Oh, prepare mercy and truth which may preserve him!
So I will sing praise to Your name forever, that I may daily perform my vows.
Friends, please pray for me that I will learn to handle myself with care, as Daddy tenderly handles me.
Growing in His Strength Always,
"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."