I have a confession to make. I am not enough.
I am not enough as a wife.
I am not enough as a mother.
I am not enough as daughter.
I am not enough as a sister.
I am not enough as a friend.
I am not enough as a Christian.
There is no area of my life where I can say I am enough. Not one. I don’t even have what it takes to write this blog post.
I don’t measure up because no one does.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:10
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
No matter how hard I try, I will never be enough.
Here is where I pause. Here is where I stop for a minute and assess. Is this really what God wants me to write? Here is where I pray again that my words are not my own, but what my Heavenly Father wants to say through me.
Because, you see, I don’t want to criticize. I don’t want to fall into the trap of using my own judgement. I want to speak the truth, God’s truth.
Something has been happening that makes me afraid for us. The self-esteem movement has been around for a while now, but recently it is becoming more about self glorification than about self confidence, and more and more Christians are jumping on this bandwagon. Christians are slapping “I am enough” on a tee-shirt, and proudly wearing their self-affirmation for all the world to see.
I don’t think we need to go around feeling miserable about ourselves, or punishing ourselves. There is such a thing as false humility, which is just pride wrapped up in a different package. I think we need to be comfortable with who our Creator designed us to be. But I also believe that we need to understand the truth about ourselves.
We don’t like to hear the truth though. What we want is affirmation, even if it means being lied to.
Jesus didn’t come to give us affirmation. He came because He couldn’t give us affirmation without the cross.
He loved us too much to simply tell us what would make us feel good about ourselves. It was Christ who said, “there is none good but one, that is, God.” (Mark 10:18)
Jesus came because He knew that apart from Him, we could never be enough.
I constantly struggle against this, against the belief that I am enough. When I believe that I have strength apart from Christ, I stray from His purpose. I wander back toward my own dreams and into the darkness of pursuing my own goals.
I remember saying to friend years ago, that God wouldn’t let me do the things I thought I would be good at. Instead He always seemed to put me in places where I didn’t have any confidence. He asked me to do things the He knew that I knew I needed His strength for.
Because He knows how easy it would be for me to put on the “I am enough” shirt, and advertise my sinful pride.
Do you see how mercy steps in, and grace continues to mold us even after our salvation? But grace can only step in if we are willing to let God work in us, only if we will acknowledge our continued need for Him.
When we as Christians claim to be enough on our own, we rob God of His glory. We are in danger of making ourselves into idols. We risk making ourselves equal with God. To elevate ourselves to being equal with God is a dangerous thing for a believer.
This was Satan’s lie to Eve. He appealed to her pride, and her desire to be enough.
When unbelievers are deceived into believing they are enough, the danger is even greater. The danger is an eternity separated from God in hell.
Satan knew that if mankind believed they were enough on their own, they would have no need for God.
When believers begin to preach that we are enough, we are in danger, not only of hindering The Holy Spirit’s work in us, but of leading the lost to believe they don’t have any need for a Savior.
The world is watching us for clues about what we really believe. When we live in such a way that says that we don’t need God every day of our lives, we send the message that we don’t need Him at all. We aren’t projecting weakness if we are looking to God to meet all of our needs; we are projecting the truth.
When we are asked if our faith is a crutch, the correct answer is, “Yes, because I can’t take one step without Christ holding me up.”
The world has their crutches too. Alcohol, drugs, sex, money, and any number of other things serve to hold the unbeliever up while he believes he doesn’t need Christ to hold him up. But those things only lead to greater brokenness and bondage. We as Christians know The One who can heal their brokenness, and free them from bondage, if we will let them see how much we need Him still.
If we can admit that we are not enough.
I’m linking up this week at Grace & Truth.