The Sweet Relief of Admitting You’re Not Enough

Feel The Sweet Relief of Admitting You're Not Enough

We were watching a competition show on TV last night, and one of the judges tried to encourage a young contestant by telling him, “Remember: You’re enough. You’ve always been enough.” And I lit up. I’m so mad right now just thinking about it that I can feel my pulse rate going up.

Do you realize there are a whole bunch of these little expressions that creep into our culture, and they’re like gross jelly beans. “Oh look, candy!” you say, until you pop it in your mouth and realize it’s actually barf flavor. Why do they make those disgusting flavors? Why do people buy them and eat them?

“You’re enough” is a sweet-coated, candy-shaped expression that we hear all of the time, but let’s open the word of God together and look at the truth about ourselves:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23 NIV)

We’re not enough. We’ve never been enough.

I can feel this as school starts, and I know there are going to be times when my precious students say and do what is wrong. And I know from years of experience now that there will be times all throughout the year when I’m going to have to say to a student, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that to you” or “I’m sorry, I should not have done that.”

We fall short. We’ve always fallen short.

Which is why we need Jesus in a desperate way, from the minute we wake up until the minute our heads hit the pillow. This is why we hear the blessed words of Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” My husband preached a good one last week and said that we’re always desperately needy but Jesus is always the shepherd.

Jesus brings the enough.

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, uses the word “relief.”

I wish I had got a bit further with humility myself: if I had, I could probably tell you more about the relief, the comfort, of taking the fancy-dress off –getting rid of the false self, with all its “Look at me” and “Aren’t I a good boy?” and all its posing and posturing. To get even near it, even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.

Let’s pick the candy-coated, barf-flavored expressions out of our language and throw them in the trash. Feel the sweet relief of humility, as you say, “I am not enough and never will be, but thank God he sent Jesus to be all that I lack.” We reach out needy hands and rejoice in having all we need in the Good Shepherd.

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  1. Yes. Thank you for this! This expression has really bothered me as well. . .for the exact reasons you have articulated so well!

  2. Oh my – this is one that gets my blood pressure up as well! Another one I detest is “You’re amazing!!” Just posted about this on facebook: “Each of us, in season, offers the sacrifice or service we have in our hands to give. And when God receives it, it is enough, not because *I* am amazing, or have done amazing things, but because HE is amazing, and turns water into wine.”

    We are NOT amazing. We are not even ENOUGH.

    But that’s okay, because God IS.

    Keep on preaching it, sister! Goodness knows we need to hear it.

    1. I love what Timothy Keller says -that the answer to low self-esteem isn’t high self-esteem.

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