There’s one hundred and one things I have conflicting opinions on. Some are good, and some aren’t. Some I’m firm about and feel confident in, and others I’m question and wonder over. One of the things in the Christian culture that I don’t love is the opinion or messaging of not being “enough” or good enough. I don’t have anything academic to back me up on this, other than it just doesn’t feel right. The idea of not being good enough or being unable to achieve that seems wrong.
When it comes to this messaging, I want to believe commentators, pastors or Christian influencers presumably have the best intention. The idea, or at least I want to think this is their intent, is that without God, we cannot live a full life. However, the message is easily muddied and is actually, in many ways, harmful. This line that you’re not good enough is as harmful as the cultural phenomenon of “you can do no wrong,” albeit in a different way.
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The latter is all about cultivating a self-serving life and an unhealthy kind of obsession with instant gratification. It doesn’t help us become productive, kind, loving and good people. Then there’s the Christian commentary, which I’ve seen more than once, about you being “not enough” or not “good enough.” Again, I do understand where this comes from. But when it’s everywhere and drilled into us, trust me, we’re going to eventually believe that we are nothing and no matter what, we never will be good.
This mindset doesn’t feel right.
By this I mean, I think when something doesn’t sit right in a sincere way, it deserves to be questioned and considered.
God doesn’t see us as not “good.” He sees those who have a relationship with Him, as valuable. He wants everyone to experience joy and love and goodness, and look to Him as safe. Where I think most influencers messaging of not being good enough is this idea that without Him, we are listless and cannot experience true joy. Again… I see this point. But also, I think that damages.
We have to be able to feel “good enough” in life. Don’t mistake me, this comes with all kinds of responsibility. But we can experience being “good” and this goes back to the choices we make.
Experiencing a healthy kind of pride if we work hard and do a good job isn’t wrong. However if the pulpit tells us we are wrong (or sin) every day, we may not recognize this. We should pursue a new opportunity if we want change. But being “not enough” hampers that and may prevent opportunity.
If we adopt the “not good enough” or “not enough” argument, I want to ask, how are we truly going to experience joy in life? How are we going to be excited by a new opportunity? How would we truly experience peace or joy or love? If we cannot experience joy and goodness through relationships, then we never will.
This isn’t some pitch for a self-serving life or attitude. Rather it’s encouragement to realize that God does see you as good. We should start living life under that assumption: realizing how He sees us, and living up to that potential, which means we have choices to make and responsibility in that. He does meet you where you’re at if you sincerely seek Him. He’s the same day in and day out, and so long as we show up, he’s there. That isn’t worth nothing. That is worth a lot and tells us that we do mean something. It’s time we start living life, grounded in that. It’s time we stop limiting ourselves because we’re just “not enough.”
Don’t shirk away from living a good life and living that life well. Don’t let this stop you from enjoying the good in where you’re at. Or from pursuing a new opportunity. That’s not wrong or sinful or bad. Enjoy that. God designed us to work hard and in His image; to laugh and rest; to enjoy and love; slow down and pursue; and from all of that, there is good. It’s not wrong to feel happy in where you are and to enjoy it.
Life can be tough and sometimes we do make mistakes, but that’s not all we are. Don’t let the good of where and who you are be meaningless. There’s value in that.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you ever noticed this messaging? Does it bother you or are you chill with it? Does it feel right to you? Is it prevalent in your experience with Christianity? Comment all the comments below. Let’s chat.
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