I have struggled to believe I am enough and I bet you have struggled to believe you are enough too. I mean, first we are up against all the things and people of this world that we feel like we don’t measure up to. Then we bring Jesus into the conversation, we learn we should be like Him and all we can think is, “Wait, what? There’s no way I’ll ever be that good!” Then the pressure starts mounting.
The other day one of my readers commented on a post of mine on Facebook. I had shared my A Good Use of Words study that focuses on the importance of our words, what they are, how we use them, etc. She said the study boosted her social anxiety by 1000%. Why? The same reason trying to get it right stresses me and tons of other people out. We don’t want to get it wrong. And knowing what we should do while simultaneously understanding how incapable we are of that can be so taxing on our hearts and minds.
As humans, we immediately go to work trying to control things. We think we have to try harder and harder to get it right. We think it’s all on us. It wears us down, failure is exhausting and also inevitable for us when it comes to our attempt to be like Jesus.
Believing You Are Enough
Fix Your Focus
One of the most important things we need to learn as Christ followers (in my humble opinion), from the very beginning, is where to fix our focus. We’re right, we’ll never be that good, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t enough. God already knew that we could do nothing on our own and gave us what we need to keep going. Through Christ, we are more than enough.
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3
Just like anything else, it’s one thing to know this truth and another entirely to apply it to our lives. On top of it all, we have people telling us we have to do this or that, usually in list form, in order to have real faith and please God. Those ideas come from fear. They come from our natural need to try to control. Make a list of things that God would like, try to check it off, point fingers at other people who aren’t checking it off, repeat. Meanwhile, miss the entire point of grace because you’re focused on control.
Grace is hard for us to comprehend. We want to believe, but most everything we learn from our relationships and interactions with people teaches us how conditional love is. A completely unconditional love just doesn’t make sense to us. God knew that would happen too. Every letter of His Word was put together with a purpose. He wants us to learn who He is, He wants us to know Him and how real and simply perfect His love is for us. His word is filled with instances that prove just how unconditional His love is.
By Grace, Through Faith
There’s a short story in Mark, chapter five, about a little girl who was dying. Her father, Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, ran into Jesus one day. He fell at His feet and begged Him for help. He knew Jesus was the only one who could help his daughter. Jesus basically said let’s do this, take me to her. On the way, they ran into a woman who was also sick and Jesus stopped to minister to her. In the meantime, someone from Jairus’s household came to tell them that his daughter had already died. In true Jesus fashion, He told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” Even though everyone thought there was no point in wasting anymore of Jesus’s time now, Jesus insisted that they continue on to Jairus’s house.
We get very little information about this girl. We have no idea what’s wrong with her, we have no idea if Jairus and his family deserved Jesus’s mercy, we have no idea if the family believed in the healing power of Jesus like Jairus did, we don’t know if the family placed their faith in Jesus after he healed her, we don’t know if they promised to stop sinning after the girl was healed, we don’t know if the little girl went on to proclaim the name of Jesus for the rest of her life. What we do know is that it was her father’s faith that saved her. That’s no accident. Why? Because nothing else matters in this story.
Jesus is showing us that nothing else matters. That man’s faith was all it took for Jesus to walk into that house, take the girl’s hand and tell her to get up. He mentions no conditions, He asks no questions to evaluate whether or not Jairus and his daughter were worthy of His mercy, He sees Jairus’s faith in His ability to save his daughter and He saves his daughter. Just like that. Boom. Mic drop.
Trying to Make Sense of Grace
From our perspective, this little story seems to lack so much. All the details we would want if someone was asking us to do something so tremendous for them are missing.
Why should I do that?
What have you done to deserve this?
How will this be worth my time?
What are you going to do for me if I do this for you?
Who all will know that I did this awesome thing for you?
The list goes on.
But this is the perfect representation of Jesus’s love. Do you believe? Great, here’s my love. The fact that we don’t measure up and never will is completely irrelevant. Should we want to please God? Absolutely. Our love for Him and appreciation for His love for us should drive us to want to be better for Him. And His love will change us if we surrender to Him completely. But we will never be perfect.
Get Up, Girl
Jairus’s daughter’s story was that she was dead and by faith Jesus brought her back to life. By faith and faith alone. If you believe in Him, then that’s your story too. It’s so easy to beat ourselves down over our obvious shortcomings. But Jesus is telling you to get up, girl. By our faith, we have been given everything we need to keep going. He has a purpose for us. He’s got work for us to do so we cannot stay stuck on being worthy of what He’s already done. How will we glorify a God who has saved us despite all of our faults by believing that we are still bound by our sin?
Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” Immediately the girl got up and began to walk.
Jesus is matchless in grace and mercy and that grace and mercy covers you completely. No sin in your life transcends His forgiveness. You are enough, through Christ. When Jesus raised that little girl from the dead she didn’t lay there and say no, I’m not worthy. She didn’t say thanks for saving me but I’m not good enough, I’m just gonna stay right here. She had just been saved! That girl got up immediately and began to walk. You have to believe you are enough, it’s time to get up, girl!