At a conference recently I heard someone speak about lies- the lies the enemy wants us to believe about ourselves to keep us from truly living. So the guy basically asked everyone, "What is the lie that you are believing?"
And my first thought was "not enough". I'm not enough and I never will be. That is my lie.
I never finished college and I don't have a career, so a lot of times I don't feel like "enough" in that area of life. Maybe you feel similarly. Or maybe you have a career but can't seem to reach the goals you thought you'd reach by now.
Then, I am a mother of three, which should make me feel accomplished, but even there I find I fall short of what I ought to be. I'm too often irritable, too quick to yell, to slow to really notice my kids sometimes, and some days are just sheer survival. Oh there's so many great moments in there, and probably things I'm really great at as a mom, but so often I just see the "not enough". Maybe you can relate?
Then there's things I love to do, like write, act, sing, make music- somehow in the absence of a career or other out-of-home roles, I let those hobbies become increasingly significant to my identity. To who I am. But since we are ever so prone to comparing ourselves, I once again find myself "not enough" because I can't seem to reach some vague and lofty level of greatness. I sometimes feel like if life were a production of the Nutcracker, for instance, I might get to be a gumdrop or a snowflake dancer but I'm "not enough" to be something important like the Sugarplum Fairy. Right? Maybe its just me, but I feel like maybe we all want to feel important somehow but keep feeling like we might just not be enough.
First of all, I realize I'm trying to add up to something based on what I think the world values, not what God values. The truth is, He is not interested in my resume, or whether I got the lead part in anything, or whether I'm ever a success in this world. Everything I am is gift from Him anyway, and He seems to use weakness just as much as strength.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things- and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God- that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."
Which leads to two more truths: 1) I'm really not enough on my own, but 2) I don't have to be enough because Jesus is enough- and HE is my enough- my "righteousness, holiness, and redemption". My pastor talked today about how Jesus' "clean"- His perfection, is big enough, great enough to cover my "unclean", or imperfection. I'm just not- _______(fill in the blank), but Jesus takes my not and says that it IS. Who HE is, overrides what I lack.
I think the final thing I struggle with is verse 31: boasting in the Lord. Because as freeing as it is to fully embrace that I am already enough just as I am in Jesus- part of me really wants to be kind of awesome on my own. Part of me really wants to get a million compliments for something I can do- or to prove to the world that I am something. And honestly, I think it is going to be a daily battle for me. But there's a verse (John 12:43) that talks about how the pharisees "loved human praise more than praise from God." And it sounds so absolutely ridiculous to hear that phrase because why care more about what creation says about me than the Creator Himself? But it is totally what I do. Maybe the best thing to remember is that I can't simultaneously seek to please others/myself and be serving God at the same time.
"Galations1:10- Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." [emphasis mine]
So this week I'm going to try to ditch the lie of "not enough", and consciously seek to focus more on what God says about me than what people say.