“You are Enough”
I’ve always struggled with this saying. I think it stems from this belief that we need to do more, be more, say more in order to earn more love and acceptance from our spouses, kids, friends, co-workers, fans—even ourselves. We constantly feel like we are falling short and that is a crippling feeling. Contentment is always in a far away future when we will add more (insert your hopes and desires here). And in the off chance that we do experience some success and “enough-ness,” we often fall into a comparison trap, realize we aren’t enough anymore, and spiral into the search for “enough” all over again.
I hate to tell you that you are not enough, but I can’t lie to you, and I can’t lie to myself. No one is enough.
We must go back to Jesus and his words to his beloved creation as he walked among them in his time on Earth. He never once looked at someone and said those words. Why? Because he came to Earth to show us that we aren’t enough.
This may seem like a sad realization, but take a minute to really take this in: all this time that you’ve felt like you aren’t enough—you’ve been right! You are not enough of a wife, a mom, a friend, a worker—insert any other title you have been striving for your entire life. You are not enough. You will never be enough. Isn’t it great? You can stop striving. You can finally rest. You are not and will never be enough, so you don’t have to keep performing to try to be enough and you don’t have to keep comparing yourself to others in hopes of finally being enough.
Ok, maybe this is a terrible realization to you that offers zero comfort and you’re waiting for me to say something that will encourage you. Stick with me because I have something better than being enough.
You are not enough, but you are loved more than enough because Jesus was and is and will always be enough.
Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are not enough because of our sin. Sin means “missing the mark,” a.k.a: “not enough,” “falling short.” We do fall short. There is a giant chasm between us and God without Jesus. The reason we feel like we aren’t enough is precisely because we aren’t enough in ourselves to mend the chasm that separates us from God. No amount of striving for good works and perfection will get us to God. We were created for a perfect relationship with God, but our “not enough-ness,” our sin, ruined that relationship.
Jesus came to Earth to take the death, the penalty, for our sin. He showed us, on the cross, that we are not enough. Jesus took all of our sin. He took all of our “not enough-ness” and he died with it on his shoulders. Jesus lived a life that was perfectly enough because he never fell into sin; instead, he remained in unceasing connection to the Father. He obeyed God in everything he did and said. He loved people perfectly. His life was enough. He died the death we deserved for our sin. His death was enough. And he did what we could never do—he rose to life and defeated death. His resurrection was enough.
He offers his life, death, and resurrection as a free gift to us. Not because we are enough, but because we are loved. “They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24 CSB). We are not enough on our own, but when we accept that free gift of grace, we abide in Enough.
How much better is that? Here’s the thing: If we had the ability to be enough on our own, our whole lives would be filled with endless striving. We would be toiling night and day trying to be enough, because “enough” would be a destination to reach. We would never know contentment because “enough” would always be five years into the future.
The beauty in the truth about who we are—enough in the grace of Jesus—is that we don’t have to strive anymore. As we live in free grace, we are motivated by Jesus’ love for us to grow in our love for him and others. This love pushes us out of any apathy, laziness or stagnation and allows us to live a full life here and now. This love offers a deep and everlasting joy and contentment that isn’t waiting for the future. The difference is, we can freely fail because we are under grace, not under our own desire to be enough. We can finally rest in the satisfaction that our strivings cease and our comparisons are crushed. Jesus is enough. And I am one with Jesus.