Most of us encounter thoughts that we’re not good enough throughout our day in various ways. We may find ourselves not feeling good enough when we are placed in a situation where others expect too much of us or we personally place high expectations on ourselves that we are unable to achieve.
When we fall into the trap of feeling less than enough it can stem into many areas of our lives: How we view others, how we treat others, how we believe God sees us or what we think about ourselves. In the world we live in today it’s incredibly easy to feel incapable, unsuccessful or inadequate due to social media, advertisements and technology around us constantly. When we are surrounding ourselves with the world’s influences, it is only logical for us to become focused on how the world views us. We value it’s acceptance. We desire to appear worthy. We find the need to appear flawless in our appearance and performance. We want to feel irreplaceable and valued.
Satan loves to use God’s truth and taint it with his lies. While God desires us to work hard, be efficient and live an upright life, He never expects us to be flawless or search for the acceptance of others. He only desires we grow in our relationship with Him, serve Him and love others. Satan likes to twist God’s truth to cause us to believe the lie that we need to be “good enough” to fulfill His will for our life.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
We’re not “enough” on our own
None of us are “good enough” on our own, it is only through Jesus’s blood on the cross that has allowed us the opportunity to live in heaven with Him. In fact, Romans 3:10 states “There is no one righteous, not even one” and Romans 3:23 states: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” None of us are capable of perfection on our own. We all fall short, and that is okay. Even though God desires us to live a life like Him, He doesn’t expect us to attain perfection. He doesn’t place unattainable expectations on us, even though we may.
I have come to realize my need to feel “good enough” for other’s approval can actually stem down to a selfish desire in my heart. I desire to be perceived as efficient, flawless or accurate, and while there isn’t anything wrong with wanting to work hard or look good, if those desires ever overtake God’s place in our hearts, that is where it can become something we idolize. It is when we desire to look better for the world than focus on what God desires. It is when we want the world to see how great we are, instead of how great our God is.
As we see in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, even when we have insurmountable knowledge, achievements, various talents and gifts, if we don’t display God’s love and have a heart with the right intent, it means nothing. All we do is meaningless. It is when we have a heart for Christ, serving and submitting our lives to Him that we can use all we do to benefit God’s kingdom.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
God’s strength is best illuminated through our weakness
Throughout the Bible God uses the incapable, unqualified and unaccepted to accomplish His plans of victory. In my own life I have found that when I am most incapable is when I am consistently reminded of God’s power and strength. If I had felt equipped and confident in myself, I would not have been able to see God’s provision and love for me as evidently.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Our heart matters more than our achievements or appearance
Others may look at our performance, our appearance or the end result of our accomplishments, but God looks at something much more important. He looks at our heart. What was the motivation behind our achievement? Were we working hard to be a godly example? Were we showing kindness to spread God’s love or were we craving the attention, appreciation or approval of others?
Do you compare your success, appearance or position with those around you? Do you focus on how others see you, think of you or esteem you, rather than knowing the unchanging value you have as God’s child? The earthly perceptions, expectations and labels that others place on us will fade, but what we’ve done for God and our character will withstand the test of time.
1 Samuel 16:7
Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
Don’t allow the lies of the enemy to handicap you when you don’t feel good enough. God still loves us just the same when we’re not perfect, in fact, He never expected us to be perfect by any means. He simply desires us to love Him, serve Him and display that love to others. We weren’t meant to satisfy the needs of others, because then they wouldn’t need to rely on God to fulfill their needs.
As a reminder:
- We’re not “enough” on our own, and God understands that
- God’s strength is best illuminated in our weakness
- Our hearts matter more than our achievements or appearance