When we got married one of our premarital counseling activities was sitting down with my in-laws to ask a few prescribed questions. One question went something like “what’s something you learned when you started out that has been valuable?”
My mother-in-law answered: “It was actually about parenting. Someone told me to never punish a child for disobedience that comes from ignorance, not willful defiance.”
While I’m sure true for parenting, the lesson has applied more broadly in my life. My husband paraphrases it this way often:“You can’t expect someone to know something they don’t know yet.” Click To Tweet
Remembering that helps when we start something new. It also helps when people we know and love start something- whether it’s a fight based on misunderstanding or a life decision we’re pretty sure isn’t going to work out the way they think it will.
Life is full of learning, and through our countless “starts,” God gives grace in the growing.
When we start something new it’s almost always humbling. New recipes mean submitting to directions. New projects mean gathering ideas and learning in order to produce. New workouts make us sweat, stink, and sore.
Newness is awkward.
Starting something new predisposes us to fumbling, messing up, needing correction, and seeking the chance to do it again. That’s what learning looks like from our earliest days.
We’d never tell a child writing their letters backwards to settle because their first tries are as good as it gets. But we often tell ourselves to settle when striving to do something new brings out our insecurities.
Right up there with “try again,” we need to remember to “grow in grace.”
Peter, in his second Biblical letter, bookended with these prayers:
“May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” –2 Peter 1:2
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” –2 Peter 3:18
Peter, known for his many mis-starts and premature claims, must have known well the importance of praying for growing in grace! His letter is addressed to “you who share the same precious faith we have.” That’s us.
Growing in grace is a fitting response to and perspective for life’s starts.
Jesus spent an awful lot of time repeating, re-explaining, and reminding the disciples (Peter especially!) as He grew them up in their faith. Grace was and is His response to our gawky beginnings- and grace works. God knows we need grace- and He, perfect and patient as He is- doesn’t expect us to know what we don’t know yet.God doesn’t expect our first tries to be glamorous or successful, freeing us to fumble in faith. Click To Tweet
Ultimately, grace eases the pains that tempt us to stunt our own growing.
What a gift! Grace also us to grow up into Him unhindered by impatience, frustration, and shame.
God invites us to be-beginning anew with Him moment by moment, day by day, step by step.
In whatever you start next- a sentence, a task, a habit- will you join me in asking God to shape the next “first” with grace to grow up in Him?
this is the last post in a 4 week Series on starting well.
Previous posts in this series include:
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