You Are Not Enough, and That's Ok

You are perfect.
You are enough.
You have everything you need inside you.

If you’ve spent any time on social media lately, you’ve likely read a variation of one of those mantras. They are well intended but feeble attempts to move us away from the temptation to compare ourselves to others and feel “less than.” I say well intended because those statements do come from a good place with the purpose of being encouraging. I say feeble because, well, you’re not enough, actually. Neither am I. And it’s ok.

When I don’t finish my to do list, when I lose my patience and snap at my children, when I’m short with my husband, when I once again give into any temptation that I have been fighting, I am not enough. I am not productive, patient, loving or strong enough. And no matter how many times I say to myself “Tomorrow I’ll be better, tomorrow I won’t mess up as much,” I still struggle and fail the next day. This begins a terribly discouraging cycle of failing, trusting in myself to do better, but failing again, then feeling hopeless that I can ever change. I am not enough.  

The truth is, when I struggle and fail, I don’t need to be pointed back to myself. The very fact that I DO struggle and fail shows that I need something much greater than myself.

The Bible is clear that we are sinners in need a savior. Jesus is that savior. Through his life, death and resurrection, He has redeemed us. And that is not just redemption from sin and hell… it is redemption from work.

We are broken and needy, and we believe that we need to work to prove ourselves. We need to do better, do more, try harder, and then we will be good enough. If I have everything I need inside me, then I must work harder so that others will see it and know that I am worthy. But Jesus turned all of that on its head.

When he took on flesh and lived perfectly, bore our sin and carried it to the cross, when he died and rose again and overcame sin and death and brokenness, he did all the work. He accomplished everything that we need. When our brokenness and need and his goodness and grace collide, oh, it is glorious. It is beautiful. And it is freedom. Freedom to rest in his accomplished work. Freedom to run to him when we fail. Freedom to do our best and trust that His purposes will stand. Freedom to be “not enough” because he is more than enough.

I don’t need more of me. You don’t need more of you. We need more of Jesus.