“I’m not good enough.”
Chances are, you have said this to yourself. You feel inadequate in a relationship. You missed a work deadline. You’re not as put together as that other woman you see at school drop-off. You hurt someone you love.
Here is the good news: You aren’t good enough.
That’s probably not a line you’ll see on a greeting card, but here is why this really is good news.
There is grace for us.
2 Corinthians 12:9 states, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.” In a culture that celebrates self-reliance, we are constantly trying to prove our power, our worth, and our control over our circumstances. It may seem harmless, those little moments of beating ourselves up. But, when we make mistakes our identity, we suffer from a case of mistaken identity.
The root of self-loathing is merely an identity crisis, deciding to identify ourselves as “worthless,” “not good enough,” instead of “daughter of the King,” and “precious in His sight.” Because of the cross, God views us through the lens of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for our sin. Therefore, the worth in our identity is found in our Father’s faithfulness, not our failures.
When we make our mistakes our identity, we suffer from a case of mistaken identity.
If we are truly honest, we often think that putting ourselves down is an act of humility when all we are really doing is placing the focus inward instead of on the saving grace of Christ. When we focus on our faults, we are saying less about what we think of ourselves and more about what we think about God. We think He can’t possibly use us with our anxiety, our mistakes, and our past. The good news is that our failures should only cause us to boast all the more in Christ’s victory over those failures (Galatians 6:14).
No amount of guilt, shame, or self-loathing ever cured our ineptitude. When we self-condemn, we try to self-atone, thinking that just trying harder, doing better, and pulling up our bootstraps higher will fix us. We find ourselves in the self-help book aisle when we really need to be at the foot of the cross where Jesus already freed us from condemnation (Romans 8:1).
When we once again have our figurative bat in hand, ready to beat ourselves up—what we need to do is reorient our focus.
Ask yourself these questions:
Who am I listening to?
If we measure ourselves against the standards of social media, marketing ploys, or peer pressure, we will always fall short. It is only the loving and gracious words of our Father that we need to tune our ears and hearts to.
Who am I trying to please?
If your audience is your Instagram following, your coworkers, or your fellow mom friends, their approval, or lack of it, is fleeting. It is only God’s grace that can really strip us of our self-doubt and lead us back into healing.
What am I trying to prove?
When we are just trying to prove we aren’t weak, we miss out on proclaiming God is strong. When we try to “take it easy on ourselves,” we miss out on taking the easy yoke of Christ (Matthew 11:30).
Don’t waste your weaknesses. What Satan wants to use as another excuse to keep you caught up in despair, God wants to use for His glory. When we focus on our faults, all we are doing is trying to put our feet back in the shackles we have already been freed from. The cross of Christ is our key, and His strength is displayed brilliantly in our weakness. What great news that is!
Don’t waste your weaknesses.
Bible Verses Referenced
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
But he said to me, “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.
Galatians 6:14 (MSG)
For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate.
Romans 8:1 (ESV)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 11:30 (NIV)
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
For more encouragement like this, check out this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: How Do I Know What Defines Me? – 078