“Am I enough?”
It’s something we all wonder at some point in life. Am I still enough to make my spouse happy? Or will I be enough to make a spouse happy someday? Am I a good enough parent to ensure my kids won’t end up on Jerry Springer one day? Am I enough at work to please my bosses and keep my income rolling in? Am I smart enough to get into that one school? Am I doing enough so that other people really know how much I care? Is my personality enough? Even with my mistakes I’ve made in the past, is what I can offer right now enough? Am I enough to make it through this crazy storm of life I’m dealing with right now?
We tend to answer ourselves one of two ways.
Many times in life we hang out head and tell ourselves that we are not enough, that we’ll never measure up to whatever standard we are striving for or perceive that someone else has set for us. We just slither away and stop trying. After all, what’s the point if we’ll never quite make it? Some people are enough, we tell ourselves; but we just aren’t that lucky.
Other times, though, we pull ourselves up and tell ourselves that we are indeed enough. We have what it takes to show the proverbial “them” that we are sufficient. We muster up what it takes to meet those goals, please those people, and be enough.
Honestly, neither of these extremes are healthy. In my own life, I’ve never lived exclusively in one of those camps. I’ve bounced back and forth, letting my emotions and the circumstances of life determine how ‘enough’ I feel. Which in turn dictates how hard I push or what goals I attain.
That back and forth isn’t necessarily the healthiest way to live life. When I don’t know what to expect out of my own soul, life is much more chaotic, and I don’t weather life’s storms well.
But I’ve discovered a little secret to living in the middle of the two extremes. You want to hear it? The fact of the matter is, you are not enough, but Jesus is.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:21-22)
“There is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.” (Psalm 5:9)
As you can see, the Bible doesn’t have a whole lot of positive to say about humans apart from Jesus. Basically, we had a shot at a world of perfection, and we blew it because we didn’t want anyone telling us what to do. When we did that, we opened up the door to all kinds of sorrow and struggles in this life, all because we thought we knew better.
But even in our rebellious state, God still loved His creation. So He made a way for that perfection to be restored, and that’s through Jesus. For those of us who trust Jesus, we have an eternity of perfection awaiting us in Heaven one day. But what’s just as amazing is the promise that He gives us while we are still living on this earth.
He promises to make us enough.
In our own nature, we will never be enough. We will never be able to make everyone happy. We will never measure up to what this world wants us to measure up to. Heck, we won’t even be able to measure up to what our own mind demands of us!
But the crazy thing is that Jesus gave us a new standard to meet- then He met it for us and lets us claim His victory.
In order to measure up in God’s eyes, we have to achieve perfection here on earth. I don’t know about you, but I’ve missed that mark BIG time. But Jesus didn’t. He aced His perfection test. Then He went a step further and paid the punishment for all the times we failed. He went even one step further, and said “Look, I know you didn’t hit the mark, but I did. If you’ll trust me, you can use my perfection, so that when you’re graded, my perfect score will show. Since your score won’t measure up, use mine.”
“But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
So what does that practically look like in our work place? In our families? In our relationships? It means that we can hold our heads high and live like we are enough, like we are free from accusation. We don’t have to prove it to those around us. My dear friends, in Christ, we are enough. But only in Christ. In Christ, we are worthy of our Heavenly Father’s love. But not because of anything that we have done or could ever hope to do. This is where our identity lies.
So please don’t go through life gritting your teeth, trying to prove to yourself and to the world that you are enough. And don’t hang your head in defeat when you feel like you aren’t enough. Rest in the stable reality that Jesus created for you. A reality where we try our very best to live up to His standards, but at the end of the day, we have grace enough to cover our weaknesses. A reality where we are loved based on Jesus’s actions, not our own. A reality where we have a Heavenly Father who fills in our weaknesses and chooses to shine through them.
“ ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me….For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
When we start to grasp this concept- the magnitude of what Jesus did for us on the cross, and the grace and strength that covers our every day lives- we will start to live differently. We will live in confidence, but equally in the humility because that confidence has been achieved for us. We will live as more grateful spouses, parents, students, friends, professionals, children.
For those of you striving to hit the mark and failing, rest in the One who already did it for you and follow Him to victory. For those of you working endlessly and exhaustingly to prove your worth, rest in the one who says you’re worthy and died to make it true.
“Oh capture my affection, let my heart forever be
Singing only of your love, and that’s enough for me.
Overshadowing my failures, and all my victories
Is the cross of your salvation, and that’s enough for me.”
Enough for Me, Brett Stanfill