Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Gratitude Day 787

Yesterday, a person sent Hubby Rick and I some paperwork to sign and complete. After reviewing it, we realized a couple errors. When I shared the errors with the person, they were quite embarrassed this had happened. We had discussed earlier how these things were not going to be included. And yet, they were.

Unfortunately, the fix was not simple. It is not just changing the information and resubmitting it. It is more complicated than this. The person repeatedly shared with me how sorry they were. Yes, Hubby Rick and I were surprised with the information. But also realized there was nothing we could do with it.

We needed to move on.

In this process, I realized this person was taking their mistake personally. They were being harder on themselves than we were being on them. As I witnessed this happening, I could understand to a point. Had I been the person who made the mistake, I would have felt the same way. Been extremely disappointed in myself. Harsh in my self-talk. Unforgiving for making this mistake, even though we are all human and make errors.

Are you hard on yourself?

Please raise your hand.

Do you expect more from yourself than anyone else?

Simply nod your head.

Are you your own worse critic? Expectations that only you have of yourself?

Yes, it is OK.

I find it much easier to be gentle with other people than I am with myself. It is easier for others to overlook their mistakes than forgiving myself for a silly error. Maybe you were also raised to believe that we are to be our own worst critic. Doing so will motivate and encourage us to change for the better.

Yet, I find myself talking using words and language I would not allow myself to use with others. I am perfectly fine to be extremely harsh with myself, if only in my head.

Maybe, just maybe, this is NOT how God would like us to speak to ourselves. When we do, we are not appreciating the beautiful spirit that God created us to be. We turn ourselves away from the gracious and loving and compassionate God who loves us no matter what.

Harsh words and attitudes towards ourselves rarely motivates us to do something different or better. No, it only allows us to devalue ourselves and the unique and special creation that God made us to be.

This is a lesson that I have been trying to embrace these last few days. It began while reading a book called Try Softer by Aundi Kolber. Aundi is a licensed professional counselor who integrates her Christian faith into her work. She feels it is so important to try and be softer with us. This sacred work allows us to drop the “try harder” gospel where we white-knuckle our ways through life, which only leaves us overworked, overwhelmed, exhausted and numb.

Instead, Aundi encourages us to express more self-compassion and self-kindness towards ourselves. When we do so, we stop talking to ourselves so harshly. We see that it is OK to be as gentle with ourselves as we would be with other people. We can quiet our inner critic and allow ourselves to experience the full grace that God already extends to us.

Friends, I realize this can be very hard. For some of us, we have spent YEARS speaking poorly to and about ourselves. Changing our behavior will not happen overnight. Yet, allowing ourselves to be more kind to the person God created us to be will open us up to a deeper appreciation and experience of the grace and mercy God has already given us.

See the challenge? Without being softer with ourselves, we will not fully experience God’s unconditional love for ourselves.

Yes, this IS something I want to embrace in my life. I want to witness as much of God in my daily live as I possibly can. Doing so requires that I be softer with myself. Less harsh in how I speak to myself. Gentler with expectations and mistakes.

This weekend, try being softer with yourself. Less critical. More gracious. See how allowing yourself to be fully human might even allow you to step into God’s grace and mercy more fully. I know this does not change overnight. It takes time. But put in the effort. Try softer. And let me know how this feels for you.

For the encouragement to be softer with myself, I am very grateful.

Blessings –


Almighty God – often, we are our own worse critics. Our expectations are so high. We want everything to be just so. And when it isn’t, we are critical of ourselves. Encourage me to be softer with myself today. This next week. Going forward. And as I do, I pray that I more fully experience God’s love and mercy in my life. Amen.

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