Telling Yourself the Truth When You Feel Like You Are Not Enough

Telling yourself truth

A friend recently said to me ‘Stop trying to be perfect.’ I know that I am far from perfect, but her words stopped me right in my tracks. I wasn’t offended by her words, but they got me thinking. While I’ve never claimed to be a perfectionist, I’ve been known to hold myself to some pretty tough standards at times. Thank God that I am learning to be kinder and gentler with myself.

Have you ever felt like you are not enough? It seems to be a common theme for people today, especially women. Perhaps we’ve had seasons where we have felt that we are not enough of a friend, not enough as a wife, not enough as a mother, not enough in our career, or not enough because we don’t have a career. Perhaps we feel like we aren’t exercising enough, serving enough, or doing enough for God. It’s a theme that many people can relate to, as so many people struggle with a sense of failure. Who hasn’t at some time thought that they are not outgoing enough, not talented enough, not beautiful enough, not community minded enough, not trying hard enough? We believe these lies and they start in the battleground of the mind through ‘stinky thinking’.

A guest writer over at Ann Voskamp’s blog this week writes: ‘The lives of everyone around us seem to be bear fruit, and yet we feel like a stripped stalk. It’s easy to feel we stand alone, a rejected Esau in a field of Jacobs, those that God loves. But that simply isn’t true.’

So where does this stinky thinking come from? Perhaps it comes from criticism received when growing up, the pain of rejection from a family member or friend, words that wounded from a teacher, or the messages we have received in society or even in the church. In fact, in church culture the expectations around behaviour are very high, so it’s no wonder that many believers struggle with a sense of perfectionism or a feeling of not being good enough.

from-approval-2

We also live in a society that glorifies success. Why is it that as people we always want to have more than what we currently have, or to be more than what we currently are? We expect so much of ourselves and others. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful, and many of us do have a built-in desire to feel like we are accomplishing something. Yet if we are believers, we need to be careful about measuring success the way the world does. Our society brainwashes us to strive for perfection. But on this side of eternity nothing is perfect. And too much striving can make one miserable. It isn’t wrong to have goals, and to work toward them, but if we move into overdrive, or when our achievements or success beome our identity, it can rob us of our joy.

“Christ continually shouts through the universe, ‘You have a love that is already yours. You have nothing to prove to anyone. You have nothing to prove to Me. You are significant and preapproved and utterly cherished. Not because you are ‘good,’ but because you are Mine.’”

{Jennifer Dukes Lee, Love Idol}

Joyce Meyer often says that ‘God is not mad at you.’ Many people need to be reassured of this. And here’s the good news: we can replace lies with truth from the Word of God. We can choose to meditate on the Word of God and what it says about our identity in Christ. And we can also choose to take our eyes off ourselves and fix them on Jesus, and others. We can receive God’s grace and know that we are ‘preapproved.’

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