I’m not good enough.
I have been in more situations than I can count where panic took hold of my heart because I was falling short. My college physics class was one of those times. I could not understand anything the teacher was saying. His words sounded like an unfamiliar language. I looked around the room in amazement that my classmates were actually taking notes on his lecture. What could they possibly be writing about? When it was time to take the first test, I took a look at each question, walked up to the teacher sitting at his desk and turned in a blank test. I could not answer one question! Thank God I found a tutor who could speak the physics language I could understand, so I earned a C on the second test.
We are all born with God given talents and a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Some of us are one talent people and others are ten talent people. The biggest challenge I have in overcoming feelings of not being good enough is to continually decide to have a sober estimation of myself and to be completely humble and grateful for how God created me. Being self-aware can sometimes be very painful, but it is always the first step to growth in any area of my life. Without self-awareness, I compare myself to others or try to live up to what I think are the expectations others have of me, and pride is sure to follow.
In my life I have wasted too many hours in angst and worry that I’m not good enough.
Recently I read the book, “Nothing to Prove” by Jennie Allen. She has reminded me of this truth:
“God knew we would never be good enough. So He became enough for us. Jesus is our enough.”
I have been on a life long journey to learn how to let Jesus to be my enough. With each failure and rock-between-a -hard-place situation I have experienced, I have had to search the Bible and get on my knees time and time again asking God to forgive me for my pride that refuses to fully embrace his amazing grace. Every time I try to be good enough on my own, I eventually feel the weight of disappointment and failure even though on the outside it appears I have had a success or a victory.
In Romans 3:23, the Bible tells us why we get that nagging feeling that we haven’t measured up regardless of how much we have accomplished. It says:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Yep. No matter how good we try to be we fall short. The Bible says none of us are exempt from this fact, yet by all of our striving to measure up and prove we are good enough we stand in opposition to what God is trying to tell us. We may nod our heads and think it makes perfect sense, but then we walk away and start trying to prove ourselves again.
God’s Word informs us of our dilemma of falling short but also provides a solution to our dilemma; yet we try to solve our predicament on our own.
The solution is in the next verse Romans 24:
And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Wow. That is the most amazing solution to my dilemma of falling short. So why would I choose to put on that heavy backpack of fear of being known, fear of failure and fear of not measuring up rather than accepting the grace of Christ?
Because my pride wants to say:
I can do this on my own. I don’t want to accept this amazing grace because this grace cost Jesus his life and I don’t want to feel accountable for the death of another. I don’t want to need someone that much.
But if I do throw off this heavy backpack of pride and fear, I am then free to fall in love with Jesus and allow him to be my righteousness. I don’t have to be good and right because only God is good and right. I can breathe a sigh of relieve that my weaknesses are not something to be ashamed of but are something to bring God glory.
The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10:
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
You’ll know when Jesus is your enough when you can honestly say that you delight in your weaknesses.
You’ll know when you are trying to be enough on your own when you feel a heavy weight or burden to achieve or be successful or be strong.
Whenever I get that awful feeling of self-doubt or feelings of not thinking I’m good enough, I can always point back to evidences of me trying to prove myself and be good on my own effort rather than relying on God. The beauty of Jesus being my enough is that I can be comfortable in my weaknesses. I can relax and be ok if I’m:
- Last or first
- Weak or strong
- Plain or beautiful
- One talent person or ten talent person
- Unqualified or qualified
- Sad or happy
- Boring or intriguing
I’m so grateful that I can throw off my heavy back pack of negative thoughts that relentlessly tell me I have to become good enough on my own. I’m so grateful that I can rely fully on Jesus so that I can say because of him…
I’m good enough.
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9 thoughts on “Good Enough”
Another highly relevant post Diane. “Never good enough” for me originates from a drive for perfectionism, as if I’d “arrive” at some point and stop needing God so much. Some of this also stems from worrying what people think more than what God thinks.
Doing public speaking for my job brings this out acutely – fearing what the crowd will think, hoping I measure up, mostly eager to get off the stage! For me, trying to please people is like that heavy burden (a snare!) you described, and it keeps us from serving others as God intended. With people we are never good enough (can’t please everyone), but like you said, Jesus is my enough.
Gal 1:10 (NIV)
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Tracie, you are so courageous to give speeches even though it scares you to your core. Your willingness to put yourself out there despite your fears is why you have achieved so much in your career. One thing I do know about you is that your humility towards God is why you can risk rejection or disapproval. Thanks for sharing that amazing verse about pleasing God rather than men.
Wow! I can sure relate to your blog good enough. I don’t know how many times through my life I never felt worthy or good enough! As you pointed that out when you were in kindergarten and with your college test and reminded me to let Jesus be your enough !2 Corinthians 12:10 . I loved to draw and create art my whole life! But as I got older and better at art , I never thought it was good enough! I always had to be better and better ! Till I realized I had to walk away from my artwork at some point and say enough! Let Jesus be your enough! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me ! I love your blogs ! Keep them coming ! They help me remember how much I need God ! Thank you !
Joanne. You are the most incredible artist. Yet I can relate to you that no matter how good you get at something you can still feel you have fallen short. I love how you have made Jesus your enough this past year and your artwork has grown so much too.
God is enough…..I’m glad to take the weight off my shoulders!
Thanks Diane for this reminder that “God’s power is made perfect in weakness ”
My son is here looking for a job so I will surrender that task to the One who can figure out what’s best for him!
You are a courageous woman!
Jeanne, I am praying for your son to find a job he will enjoy. Thanks for being such a great friend to me and supporting me during this very difficult transition in my life.
Thank you Diane, this resonated with me “Every time I try to be good enough on my own, I eventually feel the weight of disappointment and failure even though on the outside it appears I have had a success or a victory.” It inspires me to stay sober minded that Jesus is my enough and staying in the weakness of reality that I cannot find true peace, joy, faith, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, discipline and love that the Holy Spirit gives and I am not willing nor able to pay the cost for wiping my sins away past, present and future gives me freedom and hope. 2Cor 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Terry, thank you for reaching out and sharing your thoughts on this blog post. I love the verse you shared. Freedom comes from the spirit.
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