Most days I don’t feel like I’m enough, in God’s economy.
I look at other Christians and feel like I fall woefully short.
I haven’t adopted a bunch of kids.
I often let my fear stand in the way of getting out there and sharing the gospel or doing ministry.
I still think Ricky Gervais is hilarious.
In other words, I’m no superstar Christian: I’m not doing enough; I don’t have enough faith; I’m not as sanctified as I should be by now.
It’s easy to default to measuring my worth against the comparative shininess of other Christians.
And that, my friends, is a dangerous and discouraging place to be. Because, the truth is, all that glitters isn’t gold.
I could adopt 47 kids, lead mission trips every other Friday and never laugh at awkward British comedians, but that wouldn’t make me a Christian.
Faith in Christ makes me a Christian.
It’s a recognition of my own sinfulness and my desperate need for a savior.
It’s believing Jesus is God; that he lived a perfect life and died in my place; taking the punishment for my sins and covering my shame with his righteousness so I can stand before God.
It’s seeing evidence of the Holy Spirit living in me; causing me to hate the sin I once loved; even though I still struggle with sin on a daily basis.
Salvation isn’t based on our works. There are people who seem to do all the right things, yet if they reject the God of the Bible they DO NOT BELONG TO HIM. Neither their charitable deeds nor the applause of other people will ever be enough, because we can’t earn our salvation.
Works can’t save us.
Only trusting in Jesus can.
Salvation is a free gift.
So, is it useless to do good things? To be good? No! God commands us to, actually!
Here’s what the Bible says:
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth.” -1 John 1:6
“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” -2 Corinthians 13:15
The point is, we don’t do good things to earn God’s approval. Instead, out of grateful hearts, we choose to submit to the God who loves us. We believe and obey his Word. We trust his boundaries are good. We have faith that his way is better than our own, because we know his character.
Faith in Christ will produce fruit. If we believe Jesus is the only way to salvation; if we have truly repented of our sin; if the Holy Spirit lives in us: our lives will look different. Our hearts will be different. And if we are not changed, perhaps we do not really believe.
What do you trust in? Will it save you?
For those of us who have trusted in Christ, the answer is “yes”.
So what do I do on those days I don’t feel like I’m enough?
I examine my heart and my actions.
Some of that “not enough” stuff is from the enemy. He loves to discourage us; to point out all the ways we are failing. Sometimes it’s conviction (the evidence of the Holy Spirit!) showing me there are areas of my life I still need to submit fully to the Lord. And some of it is a simple, beautiful truth: I’m not enough! I never was. That’s why I need Jesus.
Believing in God, also, means believing his love for me is more than enough. I don’t have to live a flashy, Insta-approved life to be a “good” Christian. God has different things for different people. My job is simply to trust and obey. Not always easy, admittedly. But that’s what I need to do in order to live a life pleasing to the Lord.
Have you placed your faith in him? Given him your life? Because, friends, whether you’re Mother Teresa or Al Capone, you will not stand before a holy God without him.
Think about it.
You’re not enough.