” You are enough. ” You’ve heard it said, seen it in pretty printables on Pinterest and maybe even believed it. But is it true????
One summer, I worked on staff at Gulfshore Baptist Assembly, a retreat center that was located in a beautiful spot on the bay in Pass Christian until Hurricane Katrina came through. There were about 100 college students on staff, and we lived in a big beach house with our “parents,” Chris and Kim.
At the end of the summer, they gave us all “gifts,” sweet and funny items that were personal to each of us. I’ll never forget when Chris handed me a little empty soap box and said, “So you’ll always have it handy when you need to get on one.”
I couldn’t help but remember that little soap box when I was thinking of this post because, y’all, I’m about to climb on up.
You see, every time I see the words ” You are enough ” written beautifully on a printable on Pinterest, I cringe. I know you’ve seen it, too, right?
It’s one of those phrases we throw around, like “Jesus and coffee,” as if a little jolt of caffeine can in any way be compared to the power of Christ.
It’s catchy and encouraging, but y’all, it isn’t true.
Go ahead and gasp. I said it. You are not, nor will you ever be “enough.”
The very heart of the gospel is centered on that fact.
And, therein, lies freedom.
Lies Can Sometimes Look Like Truth
You see, the idea behind ” You are enough ” is encouraging. You don’t have to be and do and perform to be accepted by God, but that is never because ” you are enough. ” It’s because he is.
That’s why I have to climb on this soap box: a half-truth is still a lie.
When we feel inadequate or when we want to encourage others who feel that way, we don’t point them to themselves. We point them to Christ.
Yesterday, I was talking with a friend about one of my sisters, and I was telling my friend about how well she’s done in her particular job. (I brag on my baby sisters whenever I can.) My friend, who watched us all grow up, said, “I’m not surprised. You were all always goal-oriented,” and we talked a bit about why that might be.
I simply said, “We didn’t have a choice.”
We were expected to do everything well and better than anybody else.
One nine weeks in 7th grade, I had a 94 average in math, which at my school was a B+. My father told me that if I didn’t pull it up to an A, I would not be allowed to try out for cheerleader that spring.
There was no room for less than, and the strive for perfection was instilled in us from the very beginning.
So was the fear of failure.
I get that fear, guys. Don’t think for a moment that I haven’t been paralyzed by it before or repeatedly, but I can tell you today that I am a reformed perfectionist.
Because I finally accepted the fact that I am NOT enough.
I will never do everything perfectly or get it all right, but while God’s standard is even higher than my dad’s ever was, the heart of the gospel is the fact that I will never live up to it.
That doesn’t discourage me, and it shouldn’t discourage you either. Take a deep breath and relax. All those plates you’re juggling, all those burdens you carry…put them down.
And let Christ pick them up.
Listen to the hope Paul offered the Romans:
“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:33-35, 37)
When the voices in our heads tell us all the ways we fall short, they’re not necessarily lying, but here’s the thing: our failures don’t outweigh God’s faithfulness.
Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan, “the accuser of our brothers and sisters,” accuses us day and night, but Romans reminds us that Christ defends us.
“Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
There is not a charge Satan can bring against you for which Christ has not already paid the penalty. No failure on your part can change his love for you.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 8:6-8)
He didn’t wait for us to do things right; he died for us when we were wrong and didn’t even realize it.
Romans 3:10-12 reminds us: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
Y’all, we’re not even good enough to seek God.
Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.” (John 6:44)
Our salvation begins and ends in him.
And, “through him,” “we are more than conquerors.”
That’s the power we have for living. His power.
That why: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead…” (Ephesians 1:18-20)
We don’t need coffee; we need Jesus.
I’d love to hear from you! Are there other things we say to one another that don’t line up with the truth of God’s word? How do you recognize the half-truths in the messages our society sends, and how do you teach your kids to do so?