I am NOT enough. There, I said it. Honestly, I’ve always known it. First, in fear, then in defiance. But I came to terms with it all in 1988 when Christ used my desperation to bring me to my knees, and then pulled me out of my giant pit of sin and despair. If I had been “enough,” I could have saved myself.
But, knowing this fact, even today, I still sometimes live and behave like I can “handle it myself.”
The funny thing about it all is that at the core of this popular mantra is a tiny, well-hidden, desperate little secret. Fear. You see, we’re really trying to convince ourselves of something we know isn’t true. Deep down, we all know that we’re lacking something crucial. We long for something—something that always seems out of reach.
We all have that God-shaped hole in our heart.
We can hide it. We can hope to overcome it. We can even ignore it or rename it. But it all boils down to this: We are nothing without Christ. It’s only because of His mercy that we are not consumed (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Not only have I struggled over the years with fear—specifically, a paralyzing, smothering “fear of man,” I’ve also felt like it was my job to protect myself…you know, “because no one else ever will.”
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
For me, this delusion was sometimes expressed through desperate attempts to “perfectly follow all the rules.” Other times it was manifested in fear, shame, and even anger over my inevitable failure to “get it all right,” which sent me into a tailspin of depression and caused me to make self-destructive choices that sometimes also hurt others.
But I’m coming to realize that, while I am not “enough,” Jesus is. And I think that’s what He wants all of us to know. I would never have told God that I could “do it all myself,” but wasn’t that how I lived?
“You are complete in Him…” (Colossians 2:10)
You see, I don’t think the remedy for fear and shame is found in self-esteem or through brave sounding positive affirmations. The remedy is found in the Gospel—it’s found at the foot of the Cross! Fear and shame will begin to lose their hold on us, as we internalize the truth of who God really is, and embrace the full TRUTH of who we are in Christ!
If we truly believe who God says we are in Christ, then we will stop allowing ourselves to be abused, manipulated, or shamed. If we understand His love and mercy, we won’t make self-destructive choices, self-harm, or hurt others.
“Now may the God of peace…make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever…” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
If we truly believe what He accomplished for us on the Cross, we will embrace His forgiveness, internalize His love, and rise above the storms of life with an “I can do this” attitude, not because of our own strength, but because of His.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Do you struggle with fear and anxiety? Are you in some sort of bondage? Do you find yourself “stuck?” Put your trust in the One who has the power to change things. And if you’ve already done that, then believe who He says you are, and walk in it!
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 1:6)