Tuesday, March 29, 2011
"Who am I?" - The 'Good Girl' who's not Good Enough!
Have you ever wrestled with the thought, "Am I good enough?" Growing up this question went through my mind a lot!! And most of the time my answer was no!! I can recall this first taking place in the 4th grade when I didn't think I'd be good enough for the elementary basketball program. Time moved on and I asked this question as I thought about being friends with others, giving a report in class and playing high school basketball. And each time I asked the question, my answer was the same, "NO, I'm not good enough!"
But yet, I strived to be good! I was the oldest responsible child, well most of the time!! I lived to please my parents, teachers and coaches. I didn't want to do wrong and I worked hard to make others happy.
Obviously there was a contrast on what was going on outwardly and inwardly. Others saw me as one who worked for my success, treated others with respect and was a fairly happy individual. My parents were proud of me, teachers would compliment me and my coaches appreciated me.
But I on the other hand saw someone else, I knew the real me - the one who feared failure, felt she never measured up and would never keep everyone happy. I was the one who not only heard the whispers, "You're not good enough," but most of the time was the one I heard saying it.
Now as I look back on these moments what strikes me the most is the one thing, the only thing, I ever thought I'd be good enough for - making my way to heaven. I grew up with a works mentality thinking if I did more good than bad I'd one day go to heaven. Kind of amazing to think even though I thought I wasn't good enough to play college ball or be a wife, I thought I had what it takes to get to my eternal resting place!
Thankfully in my early 20's God showed me it's not about being good enough, which is a good thing because when it comes to salvation the answer I'd always given is right. What I do and how I act will not save me, and friend it won't save you either. Basically I was living the life of what Lysa TerKeurst calls "the unsaved Christian."
I was reminded of some key verses tonight as my children practiced their Awana verses - James 2:10 says, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, He is guilty of all." I don't have to look back to far in my life, better yet in this day or to be honest this hour to see I have stumbled in one point. How about you?
I know I fall short day after day, but Romans 3:22-24 sums it up quite well, "This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Notice this justification isn't something I (or you) earn; no, it is given to those who believe.
Believe in what you might ask, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved!" Acts 16:31 Paul adds to these thoughts with his words in 2 Timothy 1:9 "He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time."
Back in the days of high school and college, the good girl in me would have never thought I was good enough to live the holy life God calls me to, but thankfully with His grace comes a transforming of the mind! (See Romans 12:2)
So "who am I?" I'm no longer the good girl who lives to please others, but I am one who still falls short because honestly there are times I worry more about what others will think rather than seeking God's approval. And those words that I told myself for years, "I'm not good enough" they still play on the soundtrack of my mind. But God reminds me of the post I shared last week, I am a work in progress and will be until He calls me home. And thankfully it's His work in me that is changing who I am into who He made me to be.
He does this by replacing the lies in my mind with the Truth of His Word. Though I'm not good enough to get to heaven, He tells me "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!" (Phil. 4:13)
And friend, the same is true for you! If you strive to be good enough, living to please others and earn your salvation can I ask you to give that up? I know the struggle it creates, the pressure that builds; I've done it and I wasn't good enough either. Perhaps you've already accepted Christ as your Savior, but you still hear those words, the lie that knocks you down, the "You're not good enough" message that plays over and over in your mind. I understand, but will you join with me and take a step towards replacing the lie with truth? Remember, God is good and since we belong to Him He will make us good enough to live the life He calls us to.
Press on my friend!! I know this journey is a challenge, but it's worth it. Keep asking the question and remember to look for His answer! Tonight I was reminded there is freedom in knowing I'm not good enough! I pray He blesses you with reminders as well!