I’m curled up on the corner of my couch, laptop in front of me, thoughts swirling in my mind. It’s been one of those days when no matter how hard I tried I still felt like I fell short. Have you ever had one of those days too?
I click keys and spill out my thoughts. I fill up the page and then hit “delete.” I do this over and over, clearing out the clutter of my inner critic. I keep going until I type one line that makes me pause…
Just because something I do could be better doesn’t mean it’s not good enough.
That might seem obvious, but to me in that moment, it felt revolutionary. Because until then I would have typed those words differently…
If something I do could be better it means it’s not good enough.
That is the anthem of perfectionism, the anxiety-provoking mantra of the “try harder” tribe to which I’ve belonged my whole life. I can tell you this from experience: those kinds of expectations will make you crazy. Because here’s the reality, we are not in heaven yet and therefore everything can always be better. If I wait until everything is as good as it can possibly be before I let myself be happy, I’ll be waiting until the day I die.
I place my fingers back on the keyboard and I type one more statement . . .
Just because YOU could be better doesn’t mean you’re not good enough.
This is what grace means: that we in all our mess and brokenness are still enough. It means Jesus went to the cross and rose from the dead so that we could be holy and whole. It means that when He said “it is finished” He also declared “it is enough” over our humanness.
The enoughness we long for can’t be found in improving our performance or becoming a perfect person. It can only be received, not earned. This is transformational, heart-freeing news.
I start writing statements . . .
Just because I could be a better wife doesn’t mean I’m not a good enough one.
Just because I could be a better writer doesn’t mean I’m not a good enough one.
Just because I could be a better friend doesn’t mean I’m not a good enough one.
How would you fill in that blank?
Just because I could be a better ________ doesn’t mean I’m not a good enough one.
We live in the tension of who we are now and who we will one day be in eternity. Despite our best intentions, we will mess up today. Even when we try our hardest, we will fall short. This is the frustration and limitation of being a human on earth. But it is not something we can fully fix; instead, it’s a reality to embrace. Why? Because it shows us how much we need a Savior.
I finally stopped typing and had a list of at least twenty statements I’d completed like those above. It felt like a weight had lifted from my heart. I went online and found a hand-lettered image of the word “enough.” I put it on my desktop as my screensaver so I could see it over and over again. (I briefly considered getting it tattooed on my wrist but I’m scared of needles so we’ll go with this for now.)
It’s the word so many of us need to hear today: Enough.
Yes, we will always continue getting better at what we do, becoming better as we grow into the people God created us to be. This is the joyful work of a lifetime that God promises to complete the moment we step into His presence. But the incompleteness of that process now doesn’t mean we are failing. It’s so important for us to know deep down that’s true. Maybe it’s a reminder you needed too.
Just because you could be a better ________ doesn’t mean you’re not a good enough one.
That’s true today no matter what because of what Jesus has done.
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