Have you felt lately that you’re not good enough?
Have the dirty dishes, the unmade beds, and the unwashed laundry piles made you to feel inadequate? Has the passed-over promotion at work, or the forgotten invitation to tea, made you to feel insecure?
Oh, sister, you’re not alone. I am with you. “Not good enough” is a haunting phrase and I, too, have felt its unwelcome presence in various seasons of my life…and especially lately.
But, praise God, inadequacy and insecurity are not the end for those who are found in Christ. They will not have the last word. We must answer them with God’s final, authoritative Word.
Truly, the gospel provides the answer to soothing our troubled hearts, calming our fearful insecurities, and redirecting our gaze to the truth of Christ.
Why We Need the Gospel
Jerry Bridges spoke to our church last weekend on the topic of preaching the gospel to yourself. (He has so wonderfully shared this truth over the decades in his multiple books, so start reading!). Mr. Bridges says that his go-to gospel verse is 2 Corinthians 5:21 which says:
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
This gospel-verse, authored by Paul, speaks directly and wonderfully into our struggles with inadequacy and, consequently fear, in a few ways:
The gospel reminds us that we are inadequate beings. Paul begins the verse with the phrase “for our sake,” meaning that something has been done in our interest and on our behalf. The fact that this phrase is used here reveals that we, as human beings, carry in ourselves a sort of lack; otherwise, nothing at all would have needed to be done “for our sake.”
Coming to terms with our own inadequacy is actually quite a comforting thing; remembering that I am but a breath, that I am not God, helps me to admit my weaknesses and that I cannot do anything of eternal value for myself. This is actually quite relieving to admit! (deep breath) The Bible often reminds us that we are inadequate because only then will we see our need for someone to become adequate on our behalf…
The gospel reminds us that all that was, is, and will be inadequate about us was cast upon Christ. “He [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin,” Paul writes. We learn next that our inadequacy — all the sin and weakness that makes us fallen beings — is shouldered by Christ. The Son of God “knew no sin,” meaning he was perfectly adequate, and more than that, righteous in God’s sight, having lived a sinless life for 33 years on earth. All our sin was poured out upon the sinless Son of God.
This tells us that what once defined us as people — sin and death — no longer defines us because it was cast away from us, and onto Christ. So what are we left to stand on, now that this burden has been removed?
The gospel reminds us that Christ gave us his perfection in return. “…so that in him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.” What have we to stand on, sisters? The righteousness of Christ, himself! The perfect, spotless, untainted, unblemished, holy, awesome righteousness of the King of Glory. Jesus’ righteousness, his identity, his holiness, is ours. Every time the Father looks at us, he sees the heavenly, divine covering of Jesus. In Christ, we are precious in God’s sight and dearly loved!
Finally, the gospel reminds us that our glory is not in being adequate, but in being in Christ. Let’s return to the phrase “for our sake.” Because we could never be righteous enough on our own merits, Christ exchanged his righteousness for our sin, and we are united to him by faith. This is now who we are, our approval no longer being established by what we do.
The Gospel is the Answer
It is so easy to get wrapped up in our culture that exclaims at every turn, “You are what you do!” But don’t believe the lie. You are not what you do. You are in Christ. So when you feel the phrase “you’re not enough” coming to haunt you again, remember 2 Corinthians 2:15. Remember your approval in Christ. Remember your need for his grace, and that he made the Great Exchange for your sake.
Answer your inadequacies, your insecurities, and your fears with the gospel.