Never Good Enough

I recently started a new Bible study.  To get things started, we had ice breaker questions.  Each woman was asked to tell us one thing they are struggling with.  As I read the replies, my heart ached.  I kept thinking, "Me too!"  

Each mom wrote about their struggle with perfection.  One mom was struggling with being the perfect pastor's wife and mom.  Another woman was struggling with being the perfect  employee at a demanding job.  Another mom was struggling with balance - she wanted to be an amazing mom, an amazing employee, and an amazing wife, but something was always suffering.  

As I read, I could almost see the unbearable weight of: 

                     I am striving for perfection, but I always fall short

                                                  Even my best is never good enough

        I am trying so hard to be good enough

I am doing everything I can for everyone, but my everything is never enough

Beneath the drive for perfection and the desire to please is an even deeper need.  What I am saying, and what these women are saying is,

Can I ever do enough to be loved?

Somehow, in my desire to be everything to everyone, I have forgotten to be me.  And when I try to be me, I feel like the world is telling me that I am not enough.  That I never do enough.  That I am not loved.  

Because my heart believes that I must work to earn love,  I must work to be good enough.  I must work to be forgiven.  

In Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 (MSG), Solomon says, "Why am I working like a dog, never having any fun?  And who cares?"  Solomon realized that work for the sake of gaining wealth or pleasing others was an exercise in vain.

God never intended for us to be spiritually empty, mentally exhausted, and emotionally spent.  Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) says, "Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."    

Jesus doesn't say, "you can only rest when the work is done."  He also doesn't say, "when you are good enough, I will love you."  Jesus says we are simply to come to him.  When we come to him, we will find our life.  He will help us "learn the unforced rhythm of grace." 

I know some of you are thinking, "but I still wish I could be more like other women. You know, the women that have it all together - the women that can do it all.  The women that are almost perfect."  

1 Timothy 6:6 (MSG) says, "A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God."  Did you get that? "It's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God."  God doesn't want a perfect version of you!  God doesn't want you to work a little harder. God doesn't want you to please your boss, your husband, and your kids before you come to him.  God simply wants you.  Just as you are.  God wants you to remember to be you, and God wants me to remember to be me.  

When you begin to hear those voices in your head, remember:

  I may not be perfect, but God loves me because I am me

                                                  My best is ALWAYS good enough

        I don't have to try to be good enough, God simply wants me to be me.

               My everything is ALWAYS enough

I am enough

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.


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