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Daily Devotionals

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Betty Elliott
A Faithful Spiritual guide. Always there to help others before oneself. Remarkable!Faithful Christian

Feel Like You’ve Messed Up Recently?

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

“It doesn’t matter how you played. It matters that you did your best.”

This is what I told my then 7-year-old son, Silas, as we walked to the car after a baseball game. He was feeling discouraged that he had made multiple errors in the outfield, which allowed the other team to get a few runs and ultimately win.

“Did you do your best?” I asked him.

“Yes, I did,” he replied confidently.

“Well, then you have nothing to be ashamed of or frustrated about. And regardless of how you played out there, I am and will always be proud of you.”

Parenting often reminds me of how much I am loved by my heavenly Father. On those days when I stumble at life and make some big mistakes, He isn’t standing there angry, frustrated and upset that I failed. He isn’t mad at me when I don’t have a home-run day.

His love and favor aren’t based upon my performance — or even any action of mine at all. “… while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

I am loved. Period. Not because of who I am (or am not) or what I’ve done (or haven’t done), but because of who He is and what He’s done.

It’s my natural tendency as a parent to spend a lot of time worrying about my kids. I’ve lain awake at night worrying: Am I spending enough time with them? Are they eating healthfully enough? Did I ask her the right questions in our conversation? Does she feel loved enough? Should I have responded to him like that?

These worries can turn into full-blown anxiety, and I can quickly spiral into a place of beating myself up and feeling so much shame and guilt as a mom. Thankfully Jesus doesn’t turn His back on me when I mess up. Instead He invites me near:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Jesus is whispering to me, “You are free. When I died on that cross, it was for you. It was for your mistakes and your mess-ups. It was so you don’t have to carry around the weight of guilt and shame and feelings of ‘not doing enough.’ Rest in Me. Let Me be adequate where you feel inadequate. Trust Me in the messy, broken spaces. Look to Me when you don’t know how to respond or what the next step is. Lean on Me when you feel overwhelmed with this job I’ve given you to raise these humans. Stop stressing, worrying, striving and trying so hard. I came to give you life and hope and joy. Rest in Me. You are free!”

This freedom ‒ and truly understanding it and living out of it – has completely changed my life. I don’t have to parent (or live!) out of shame, guilt or the desire to impress others.

I don’t know where you are at today or what you might be struggling with. But I know this: Jesus is offering this freedom to you as well.

You don’t have to carry around the weight of trying to be enough or do enough. You don’t have to try harder, be more, do more or prove your worth to attain God’s love.

In Christ, you are redeemed, chosen, forgiven and loved. You can rest in Christ’s amazing love for you — even on those days when you fail, fall and make mistakes.

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me — even when I mess up and make mistakes. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins so that I don’t have to carry around the weight of feeling like I am not enough. Let me rest in Your love, and let me be so filled up by Your love that it spills out to everyone who bumps into me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 John 3:1a, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”

Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus …”


Jo Ann Steward


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