Grace Notes: Embedded Messages

By Debora Coty

Arriving at the tennis facility for my league match, I jumped out of the car. Something felt … wrong. I looked down. Gasp!

My feet, which should have been shod with appropriate tennis socks and shoes, were clad in my house flops. I’d forgotten to change my shoes!

There were no stores nearby; it was too far to go back home and return by the starting time. My teammates were already on the courts warming up. I felt the blood drain right out of my brain. I had really messed up this time.

My team captain’s smile turned upside down when I flip-flopped onto her tennis court with my faux pas. She immediately called all the girls over for a strategizing pow-wow. Thankfully, one of them had an extra pair of tennies and socks in her car – and amazingly enough, they were just my size.

Although my forgetfulness was redeemed, for days I kept beating myself up over my dumb mistake. That head-shaking, what-was-I-thinking, self-depreciating feeling of inadequacy lingered, despite my efforts to get past it.
 
Then like a text from heaven, four words embedded themselves in my thoughts: Have grace with yourself.
Why is it that extending grace to others is often easier than offering it to ourselves?

Grace = getting what you don’t deserve. Including forgiveness.

Everybody screws up; it’s part of the human download. But Papa God gives grace to us every single time, no matter how grievously we’ve erred or how awful the consequences we bring on ourselves or others. He offers us grace so that we can receive the accompanying delete and reboot.

And so that we can offer forgiveness and a fresh start to others. Even ourselves. “God’s grace has set us free” (Romans 6:15 NLT).

So me, myself and I are friends again. I can actually laugh about my forgetfulness (which sure seems to be happening a lot more often these days). That’s grace.

And if you ever need an extra pair of tennies, just ask. I have a whole pile of ’em in my trunk.