I’m an expert in the area of “not good enough.”
When I was a young mom with three kids under the age of four, I felt I needed to prove myself as capable. I nearly put myself in an early grave by trying to keep an immaculate house, cook and bake from scratch, entertain frequently, teach Sunday school, and play piano for the church choir and worship team. Then, as though earning an income could affirm my worth, I decided to sell Tupperware, become a licensed daycare provider, and teach piano lessons.
Decades later, I’m willing to admit that my struggle with “not good enough” still isn’t finished. It exhibits itself as the fear of inadequacy. Will a publisher think my new book is worth a contract? Will readers think it’s worth buying? Will my teaching sessions be well received at upcoming retreats and conferences?
Earlier this month I was asked to speak to a group of accomplished female authors and Bible teachers about what God has taught me in the past year. This topic of wrestling with “not good enough” was one of my main points.
I shared how, within that group of amazing women all involved in the Christian publishing industry, it’s easy for me to compare myself with them and think, “If only I could write like so-and-so, or if only I could teach like so-and so, or if only I had more Facebook likes or a bigger platform, then I’d be good enough.” Interestingly, when I asked if anyone else wrestles with the same thing, nearly everyone raised their hand.
God’s been teaching me that, as Christ followers, we can easily identify the source of our struggles with not being good enough. It’s certainly not Him! In fact, the opposite is true.
We never need strive to be good enough for God. Nothing we do or say earns us greater merit in His eyes. He loves us just as we are, warts and all. He invites relationship with Him not because of our performance but because of who He is.
“Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house,” says Psalm 5:7. It doesn’t say, “Because I’m so accomplished at what I do, I can enter your house.” Neither does it say we can enjoy intimacy with God because we keep a super-clean house or because our kids are so well-behaved or because we’re actively involved in ministry of some sort. We’re accepted by God because of His unfailing love for us, not because of anything we do. Period.
I believe the Lord gave me the courage and opportunity to talk freely about my struggles with “not good enough” as a way to declare battle. I’m done with it and more than ready to embrace who I am in Christ. From now on, every time the thought of “not good enough” tries to sneak its way into my head, I will choose to refuse to let it linger. Instead, I will thank the Lord for His unfailing love for me and for the freedom I have as a result.
How about you? Are you stuck in the trap of “not good enough?” If so, what’s one action step you can take to overcome it?
#bgbg2 #DoneWithNotGoodEnough #ChristianDevotions
I understand that struggle too Grace. I like the idea of choosing to refuse to let the thought linger and replacing it with: I am anointed, I am blessed, I am fearless, I am strong, I am well able, I am enough because God is enough in me. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me and I can do it well because I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.
Amen, Debbie! I love those affirmations of truth statements you’ve written. Satan is so skilled at planting lies in our minds, and unfortunately we often don’t recognize them for what they are, or we let them take root before dealing with them appropriately. Enough of that, yes?
Yes, I’m trapped. I hate my old self so much that I hate my current self, even though I try my hardest to be a good Christian. When I was eleven, twelve and a little when I was thirteen, I had many mental and emotional problems, and I didn’t deal with them in ways that were healthy for myself or my loved ones. There were even two specific occasions when I disrespected God in my journal entries. I’m almost fifteen now and I’m still struggling with the severe guilt that started building up from when I was as young as nine. I love God fervently, but I hate myself. Every website I go to tells me that I’m sinning by not believing that God has forgiven me, but my disbelief is completely involuntary. Also, I’m alone because I don’t want to burden my family with my problems. Can you give me some advice please?
Hi there. Thanks for leaving your comment. It sounds like there are lots of emotional layers happening, and peeling them one by one so they can be exposed and cared for appropriately takes time and more attention than I can give you on my blog. One suggestion–do not let the devil convince you that you’re alone. That’s a common tactic of his so that we’ll live in isolation. It’s easier for him to attack single prey, yes? Reach out to a trusted godly woman and share your struggles with her. Ask for help. You are not alone.