We tell ourselves what we should and should not do.
When we fail, we miserably attack ourselves, and hold ourselves to high standards.
This was my life.
Many times, I found myself getting so angry with myself. I had failed in many cases. Whatever standards I was living by, I had failed.
Those standards were not even Biblical based on the Old Testament.
I had placed a rugged necessity on myself to right every wrong, to take down and shame anyone who had hurt me or made me feel bad.
Now, today, I realize that in greater measure a lot of our shame and pain comes from not measuring up to standards which ... don't really measure up in the first place!
We are delivered from the law to live under grace:
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)
We are not guided by law, which actually brings out sin:
"But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." (Romans 7:23)
The law is good, but it cannot make me good.
"For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." (Romans 7: 11-13)
Now, this revelation applies to our own self-imposed rules.
Any standard that is not Jesus does not measure up.
Let's keep it simple, just as Jesus did when explaining to the earnest Israelites during His earthly ministry:
"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:28-29)
"23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Galatians 3: 23-25)
How do we live, then?
No longer by law, or even our own little rules of conduct.
We live by faith!
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17)
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Romans 3:23-25)
We are called to live by no other law than faith!
We are dead to the law.
And our rules and standards no longer matter.
Let us trust in His grace and receive His gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17)