The title might shock you. It might make you wonder about me because the world has been telling us if we try harder we can be enough. Or that we ARE enough. But we’re not. And we were never made to be.
I know. Catch your breath for a minute.
I am reading, among other things, Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen. I just finished reading the chapter this quote comes from, and it struck me. I try so hard to prove myself every day. I try to prove that I’m good enough at my job, or that I’m good enough at life, or good enough at adulting, or a good enough Christian.
Heck, as the type of person I am, not only do I try to prove I’m good enough, I try to prove I’m better than that. But I’m not. And I don’t have to be.
Stop and process that for a minute because I know it’s shocking. I don’t have to be good enough.
All the whole, Jesus is saying, I want to free you from your striving, free you from your doubts, free you from your pride that cares more about your achieving something that you receiving something.
I am enough.
So you don’t have to be.
If we can fully embrace that we can not do all things on our own, we can begin to experience the freedom that comes from letting God be enough.
What we do have is grace. He doesn’t call us to not try to live Holy lives. He still wants us to worship Him and live our lives for Him. But He creates us. He knows we fall short.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
But the great part is it doesn’t stop there. Ok we’ve all sinned, now what?
They are justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24
There are two things in that verse…grace and redemption. Neither of them have ANYTHING to do with us. They are both freely given to us. We didn’t earn them.
For we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Romans 3:28
I am not any more of a Christian because of what I do. He sent Jesus so I don’t have to live like that. And yet I do. And I get beaten down by that life, by trying so hard and yet falling short once again. By not being good enough. By not doing all the things in my checklist of what it means to be a successful person in this life.
She also talked in that chapter about how we load up our “backpacks” with all these burdens and expectations we try to live up to. We try to see how much we can carry. I know I do.
As I was reading the list, broken down in categories, the ones above were the ones I found myself saying “yes” to about every single one.
What if we let go of all those pressures and just live a life fully abiding in Him? What if we embrace who He wants us to be instead of who we think we should be? What if we throw away the checklist and just live for Him every day?
Knowing we are going to mess up. Knowing I am going to lose my temper sometimes. Knowing I might cry. Knowing full well I’m gonna dig the checklist out of the trash every once in a while and try to achieve some arbitrary reward that doesn’t even exist. Knowing I will never be enough. But knowing and embracing that He doesn’t want me to be because He is enough and that’s all that matters.
Can I let go and live like that? I don’t know. On my own, I probably can’t. God knows how He made me (and you) and He knows what He’s up against.
I’m sure it’s a little like the kid that keeps making the same mistakes. He still loves me, but He probably wishes I would learn my lesson and quit doing that. And I probably wish that too.