Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Epic Grace ~ Adjusting Expectations

I am a bit of a perfectionist. As such, I tend to hold high expectations of myself (and others around me, most times). I also tend to beat myself up when I fail. (I try not to do this to others when they fail. I like to encourage them instead.)

He doesn't know it, but my step-son taught this perfectionist a life lesson in Epic Grace.

Zachary was four when I met his father, eight when we married, and twelve when he came to live with us so he could attend the Christian academy across the street.

Coming from a home where education was heralded - both of my parents went to college, my mother was a teacher, and we kids were expected to keep our grades up - my expectations were quite high for Zachary's grades. Although, I did have a small amount of grace. If there was a subject that was simply difficult to grasp, I understood that well enough. I'd passed high school math with 67s on my regents exams, even after pursuing extra help from three different teachers.

My requirement was that Zachary and our children worked hard, did the best they could, and completed their work.

Here's the thing about some kids (two of mine included): They only do what they absolutely have to do to get by. They never push to do more or do better.

I always saw that as a lazy attitude.

To some extent it is.

To another extent, maybe that's how God has wired them.

As a straight-A student (despite my math and science test scores), it bothered me that Zach wouldn't reach for a "B," at least. I knew he was smart enough and capable of obtaining higher grades.

It wasn't until my oldest son imitated Zachary that I realized that maybe a "C" average was Zach's best. His best may be different from my best. Which caused me to reconsider my expectations.

Epic Grace looks like lowering our expectations of one another and allowing an overwhelming love to preside in their place. Math may be a challenge for me, but God has graced me with a few more talents in English. A "C" may be all my sons can achieve on paper, but God has graced them with amazing abilities when the work is hands-on.

What's more important than the grade we receive on our papers is the attitude with which we do what we do.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).

When we serve the Lord as we do the dishes, take our math tests, and run our churches, there's Epic Grace for those of us who do these things heartily unto the Lord.

As for my children? As long as I witness their best efforts, I'm okay with "C" averages and the occasional stray sock. ;) Are you?

To read more about Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot, you can find Pastor Kurt Bubna's book here:
Barnes and Noble

Join Pastor Bubna (pronounced Boob-nuh) at his blog. You'll find his posts very encouraging and down to earth but heaven sent.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Alycia. I don't know if I'm a recovering perfectionist, but I've struggled with it. Oddly, I was also a procrastinator. After considerable therapy on the issue I learned the two aren't unrelated. When I feared not accomplishing something to the expectations of whoever, I would put off doing anything until the last minute--then I gave it all I could and had not time to fret about doing better, or worse....Weird that wiring stuff...


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