I don’t know about you, but in my youth, I fell into the need to be successful in EVERYTHING I did. It fulfilled me and made up for the lack of affirmation in my childhood. Drive and ambition are notable qualities, but if they lead you to be without GRACE for yourself as you walk through life, then it can become very unhealthy.

When you fail, how does your discouragement affect you? For example, the way we look is often a reflection of the lifestyle we live. It’s easy to feel guilty when we get out of shape or look a hot mess because we feel bad about the choices we’ve made or are making. We know how we should be living, what we should be putting in our bodies and how we should honor it with exercise and living a life of great health and energy. But sometimes…  we just don’t. Sometimes we get lazy; sometimes we just want a break from the discipline, focus and motivation required to do the right thing. And many times, the guilt of our decisions drain us of our strength and confidence. In a positive way, guilt can convict us to make better decisions and live better. But shame carries a weight so heavy that it keeps us down. Living in guilt can become a habit; a familiar place to retract to. We allow ourselves to be discouraged and place our identity in our actions and past. This is the quickest way to death. To live in freedom is to walk in the light and believe that God has not forsaken but set forth great plans for you in your life!

Why are we so surprised and condemning when we know that Adam and Eve left behind in all of us, an inclination to sin? (Romans 5:12, 17) The beauty of our salvation is that Christ’s sacrifice is the ultimate and final payment of our sins (Hebrews 7:27). We have been set free from our past, even the past of “yesterday”. That is why there is freedom in Christ. The price has been paid. We no longer have to be slaves to sin living in darkness. Acknowledging this grace and this freedom is what being a Christian is about. Living a life of gratefulness and knowing that God’s grace is sufficient for our souls allows us to live in joy and abundance. Therefore, we should never give up on the pursuit of excellent living. Accept grace and renew your faith in the God that empowers us.

If you are struggling in your fitness program, relationships, personal issues….don’t give up! “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” 1 Timothy 1:7.

Stay encouraged, my friends, we all fall short of the glory but we are all one in Christ.