I’m confronted everyday with a reality that I don’t really care to acknowledge. I am not good enough. I’m a terrible follower of Jesus. With my words I’m great, but my actions rarely back it up. I’m far more selfish than I care to admit with my wife. As a pastor I’m regularly confronted with issues I have no clue how to deal with. In the most important areas of my life I am not good enough to do them even remotely well.
Now before you write me telling me how good I am, hear me on this. I am not enough, and that’s okay.
I know this problem doesn’t only exist in me. If you were to do a quick search on the internet you will find a plethora of self-help posts telling you how you can be “all that you can be.” There’s no shortage of voices saying that if you just try hard enough, if you just want it enough, then you will be able to make it.
But I’ve got to be honest, I don’t know if that’s true. I’ve tried my hardest, but yet I still find myself ending up short—regularly.
I think we’ve bought into a lie that says we are good enough. That we don’t need anyone. That we can accomplish our dreams and be awesome and whatever else we think we can accomplish. It’s a lie that we’ve bought into and sold to kids. It’s been passed down from generation to generation and needs to stop.
It’s simply not true. I lied to myself for years thinking that I was good enough. That only got me two things: a head full of pride and a whole lot of disappointment when I realized it wasn’t true. Instead of feeling confident like the lie told me I would, I felt alone and inadequate.
Listen, there is a better way. It’s not healthy when I’m running around thinking I can do all these things by myself. That’s called pride, and it’s a sin. Even worse is when I wallow in self pity because I realized again how I don’t measure up. I would argue that is also a sin. There’s a better way.
The Bible contradicts what the world says. The world says that we are good enough. But the Gospel message doesn’t back those thoughts up. No where does the Bible say Jesus died for you because you were just so awesome. Actually the Gospel says that you are a messed up, dirty, sinner with absolutely NO hope of saving yourself. Go read Matthew 5-6 if you don’t believe me. Yet despite all that we have done, all the mistakes we have made, God still loves us. When I feel that I am not good enough, I am right. But God still loves me anyway.
The problem with thinking that we can fix ourselves is that we are putting ourself in place of God. We think we can change. We think we have the power to fix ourselves. Essentially we think we are God. We would never say that, but our actions speak it. We think we are good enough. But our lives, our actions, will never be able to back that up.
The Bible holds a mirror up to the parts of our lives we’d rather forget about and shows us how ugly our sin is. But it doesn’t leave us there. There’s the incredible hope that Jesus not only loves us but wants to fix us. Can we fix ourselves? No. But God can; he can do what we cannot.
I am not good enough. On my own power I will fail at everything I try. I will be a terrible husband, pastor, follower of Jesus, friend, and, in general, person. But if stop trying and start letting God take control things start to change.
Here’s what I’ve found. That in my weakness God shines. When I finally realize I’m not good enough, God’s grace tastes so much sweeter. That’s the crazy part; God isn’t calling me to try in vain to fix myself. He is offering me help to do something I cannot do on my own.
If you have bought into the lie that you are good enough like I had, stop. You aren’t good enough. But that’s okay. God is good enough, and he loves you. Let him work on you. Show him your weakness. Ask him for help. God’s grace will cover your mistakes and build you back up when you fall.
I am not enough, and I’m okay with that. Because the God I follow is more than enough. He will sustain me. I don’t have to do that myself. His grace covers me. I’m living in God’s grace, will you join me?