I recently noticed I’ve been hearing that word pretty often. In a conversation, a line in a song, a movie scene. But most often I hear it in my own head. In my head the words “I’m not” are likely to be found shortly before the word “enough.”
“I’m not smart enough.”
“I’m not spiritual enough.”
“I’m not good enough.”
Years ago I visited a museum with my family. I noticed a small drawing hanging in the corner of a room and couldn’t help but laugh. I brought my parents over to look at it and they laughed with me. It was an old picture, made in the medieval ages, if my memory is correct. The quality was certainly medieval. It was flat, simple, and ugly. My parents and I agreed that even I could draw something better than that picture. What was most hilarious was that a picture like that was hung up in a high class museum. That picture was probably worth thousands, if not millions of dollars.
In the end, a picture’s value doesn’t come from the picture itself, but from the one who painted it and how much someone is willing to pay for it. A rag Van Gogh used to dry his paintbrushes with would be worth millions more than any piece of art I could ever make. A messy scrap of cloth can be worth millions because a world-famous painter used it and someone out there is willing to pay for it.
We are messy scraps of cloth.
When I tell myself, “I’m not good enough,” I’m finding my value in my performance. Mistakes cause anxiety; the fear of failure cripples me from taking risks; disappointing my friends makes me doubt if they’ll stick around. Am I good enough for this job? Am I good enough to be their friend? Am I enough? The question is irrelevant. God is more than enough.
My value, like that of a painting, does not originate from myself. I was designed by an all-powerful, infinitely creative God to reflect Himself. I am broken and twisted by sin, but He sent His Son to pay punishment I deserve so that he could have me for Himself. I fail, I make mistakes, my good deeds are dirty rags. But my Creator has paid for me. Because of Him, I am valuable. Because of Him, you are valuable.
While there have been many events recently, both big and small, that have led me to think I’m not enough, one in particular comes to mind. I was confronted and challenged in an area of weakness by several older and wiser believers. While they made their love for me clear when they corrected me, after our conversation I felt broken. I failed them. I didn’t do good enough. I wasn’t worthy of their love or anyone else’s. While I knew these were lies, I felt them all the same. My heart started catching up with my head when I listened to a song titled “Three” by the band Sleeping at Last.
Maybe I’ve done enough
Finally catching up
For the first time I see an image of my brokenness
Utterly worthy of love
These people had seen my brokenness clearer than I had. And despite that, they still loved me. Not only did they love me, they sought to help me overcome my failure.
And I finally see myself
Unabridged and overwhelmed
A mess of a story I’m ashamed to tell
But I’m slowly learning how to break this spell
As I listened to this song, I prayed and thanked God for His incredible patience. For His love for me and for the love He’d given others for me.
I only want what’s real
I set aside the highlight reel
And leave my greatest failures on display with an asterisk
Worthy of love anyway
God looked straight at my brokenness and failures and wanted me anyway. I don’t have to be “enough.” You don’t have to be “enough.” God is more than enough.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
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