Last week’s FIMF post really struck a chord with some of you guys. I thought it would be worth going over the concept of feeling like we are “enough” for another week, since it’s something that so many people struggle with.
Just Not “Enough”
Although I touched on it last week, the first thing I want to talk about is the feeling of not feeling like enough. Maybe it’s just my personality. Maybe it’s all my experiences combined. Maybe it’s because I’m just human. But a lot of the time, I don’t feel like I’m enough.
I’m not doing enough.
I don’t look nice enough.
I’m not fit enough.
I’m not as organized as I want to be.
I’m not as productive as I think I should be.
I’m not a good enough Christian.
Focusing on what I am not or all the things I think I lack is not very pretty. In fact, it’s ugly, negative, and rooted in lies that keep me from God’s grace – which is enough.
It is normal to have these thoughts, though. We are people and we compare. We are taught from a young age that getting good grades is rewarded, and pretty is praised over ugly. We are taught that more is always better. But when we grow up, the consequences of continuing to believe life is that black & white and that we must live up to the lofty standard of “enough” is dangerous. In the end, it tears us completely apart.
The One Who is Enough
Thankfully, God doesn’t intend for us to live up to worldly standards of “enough.” Enough is really just another way of saying perfect: one thing we as humans cannot be. In contrast to our deep longing to be enough ourselves – a task we simply cannot fulfill – there is One who is enough: Jesus Christ.
And yet this is where I hiccup and feel my little faith waning. Is He really enough? I think. He would be, if I only let Him.
The biggest mistake I make is beliving my greatest need is to be “enough.” Enough for God. Enough for my husband. Enough for all the people I want to impress. Enough for the toughest critic of them all: myself. But that is not my greatest need.
My greatest need is actually Jesus. My devotional the other day said it this way: “If my greatest struggles have taught me anything, it is that my greatest need is to know God better, and I am not alone.”
The only reason I am tempted to feel like Jesus isn’t enough is because of me. If I think He isn’t enough, well, then He won’t be. If I don’t let Him have that power in my life, He will have no power in my life. Jesus comes only when invited in. He will never force His way into a heart. He may pry, but the decision is up to the owner of that heart.
This is all very convicting, and if you have any ounce of human in you, I bet it is for you too. As Christians, we want to declare that He is enough. So why does it feel that He isn’t at times? We get hung up on circumstances. If life doesn’t feel and look perfect, it’s very easy to dismiss the power that Christ has.
It’s Not Perfect
I’m finding more and more, though, that perfect has nothing to do with it. The whole notion of perfect has to be forgotten. God didn’t say that being Christian or loving Jesus meant that magic would happen and life would be so great. Everyone struggles, and Christians are not in the least exempt from the pain and suffering of this world. The difference in a Christian life, though, is that we don’t have to go through any struggle alone.
Many of the Psalms are a good example of the dichotomy of a Christian life. One of my favorite verses in Psalms is Psalm 62:5-6:
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
And yet, the context of this Psalm is not written in that the author has a perfect life. Just lines before, the author writes, “How long will you assult a man?” saying that the people around him are trying to take him down and curse him. Not really a picture of a perfect life, if you ask me. And yet, the author is clinging to God, his hope.
As a woman, I put more demands on myself that I need to. As a human, I have a deep hole that I wish to fill with perfect. I get caught up in the struggle. I am flawed and broken. But what’s miraculous is that God is looking down and saying, “I love you always, anyway, and I can redeem all of that.” I am not too broken, sinful, or far from God to be changed. I am just as He intended.
Questions for You:
- What never seems to be “enough” for you? What steps can you take to let that go?
- Where does your longing to “enough” come from? How can you release that and accept that it doesn’t come from your Maker?