Anybody ever hear this one running through their minds? I'm sure there are many of us. Whether it's from a voice given to the desire to be perfect or a condemning voice from past experiences, it's all doing the same thing... keeping us from the abundant life God has freely given. (John 10:10)
Some of you know this was my number one lie... a constant tapping on my shoulder. From there, other lies began to take hold and steal my joy... "I've got to be better"..."I'm a mess"... "I don't like myself"... "I will always be this way." I was always aware of it...even on my good days. Not quite sure where the voice came from ... there is no traumatic experience or treatment in my past that shaped this belief. Maybe it came from grabbing onto the black and white, good and bad, do's and don'ts of church and religion INSTEAD of the everlasting love, mercy and grace of a relationship with my Savior. Why did I do that? Because in my mind... the former was easier to understand. Grace and unconditional love... that only made sense once the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to this truth. I was a Christian much longer than I was truly spirit filled. Satan used these lies to try and keep me from this life.
"I'm not good enough"... Want the truth? ... You are right... But guess what? ... NOBODY IS (Romans 3:23). The truth is, no matter how much "better" you become or how much good you do to make up for the bad; you will still not be good enough. Some people see hopelessness in this ... I see pure freedom. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself and just give it to Him. Stop placing unrealistic expectations on your life and condemning yourself when you fail. Think about it... If you were good enough, you'd be Jesus. He is the ONLY one who can ever be good enough.
Ready for some good news... or should I say GREAT NEWS?!?! If you are a Christian, you don't have to be good enough. Jesus came so you would not have to be (1 Cor 15:3). So, why do we think the Christian life is about becoming or acting perfect? The gospel is about a Savior coming to save the imperfect. I used to always just say that Jesus gave His life for me. What I've recently learned is that I need to change my perspective.. or actually... just my wording. He didn't just give me His life; He gave me HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS... Yes, you are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor 5:21)!!! So accept His righteousness and stop trying to live by your own. Let this sink in. Not just into your mind... not just in your heart... but to your very core. Get this truth. Replace the lie and start living your abundant life.
But please also let this sink in. If you are hearing... I have a free pass to do whatever I want... you are terribly mistaken and giving into a new lie. As a Christian, our goal is to learn the Word and strive to obey it.
My point is, do NOT obey because you have to be better. Do it out of love and gratefulness for what He has done for you AND do it in HIS power and not your own (Zechariah 4:6). If you are constantly trying to do this in your own power, you will fail and continue to hear that condemning voice.
In order for a lie to take root, there has to be some disconnect with God's truth. What truth was I not really getting which allowed this particular lie in?
I believe that it's the simple, yet most important one... that God loves me THAT MUCH ... With a unique love that is hard to grasp ... an unconditional and non-condemning love. When I entertain the thought of "not being good enough," I"m saying that I believe it more than I believe that God truly loves me. You have to believe God's Word with not only your mind and your heart, but also by experiencing it.
How do you experience His love?
It may be a defining moment for you or a gradual change over time that you don't even realize until later. It was gradual for me and it came through
1) Prayer - asking specifically to experience it - Matthew 7:7
2) Meditating on His love - thinking deeply and continuously - speaking those powerful words "God LOVES me" and sitting in His presence.
3) Repeating God's truths EVERY TIME doubt would creep in my head
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:37-39 No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, [nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
[Emphasis added by me]