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Scripture – 1 John 3:20-22

It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him.

Observation – We are often our greatest critics. But what are we really criticizing? God’s work? Probably. God made us perfectly in His eyes and we are all too ready to find wrongs in all we are. If we would learn to love the way God loves, we would not find fault in all we are. God waits on us to see and accept our weaknesses. When we do, we are no longer bound to the chains we have self-imposed. It’s impossible to be “bold and free before God” when we are bound by shame and human pride.

Application – I am definitely my greatest critic. I have been that way my entire life. I can name off external and internal “faults” I have without even taking a breath. But after studying this scripture, I am ashamed of this thought process. What am I so worried about all of the time? Who am I trying to please? Other imperfect humans?! There is only one whose opinion matters and I’ve put His on the back-burner. God already knows everything about me – including the mistakes I make and will make in the future. He knows the choices I have followed. Despite my best efforts to prove otherwise, I am quite acceptable to God. It’s at the time that I finally give up trying to be perfect and just turn it over to God that He comforts me. I am just amazed that God never gives up on me. Instead, He loves me even more at my weakest moments. Wow!

Prayer – Lord, I want to be bold and free before you. I want the world to see you in everything I do. I want to serve you in the way you made me to serve. But all of this impossible if I spend my time criticizing and shaming myself. Please forgive me for my human pride. I know now that weakness is a blessing to embrace not a trait to hide. Thank you, Lord, for making me perfectly acceptable to you, just as I am. Amen.