Am I good enough?
This is a question we ask ourselves every day, consciously or unconsciously. In a culture of comparison, we are constantly measuring ourselves up against other people or others’ standards to see if we’re “good enough.” Culture tells us, “If you want it, go get it. You have to earn what you deserve. Nothing is given to you. Work work work. And if you stop to catch your breath for a minute, you’ll miss it.”
Even in the church, we often feel the need to “prove” our worthiness to others. We ask ourselves, “Am I a good enough Christian? Do I attend enough Bible studies? Do I participate in enough service projects? Do I know enough about the Bible?” These are good things, but they should not be done to prove that we are “worthy” to call ourselves Christians.
So what is the answer? Am I good enough?
The honest answer is no. Now hold on a second, let me explain.
The Bible says that apart from God, we can do nothing. We have all sinned and we have all fallen short of the glory of God. All by myself, I am a failure. I have failed to live up to God’s standards.
And that’s exactly why we need Jesus. God met us in our unworthiness and sent the one who is worthy to take our place. God allowed the only one who is worthy to be made unclean for our sake, that we might be made clean and blameless and worthy in God’s eyes. Isn’t that so incredible?!
I am only worthy in God’s eyes because Jesus is worthy. Let me repeat that—I AM ONLY WORTHY BECAUSE HE IS WORTHY. I cannot do anything to earn salvation. I cannot do anything to earn God’s favor. I cannot do anything to earn righteousness. I cannot do anything to earn God’s love.
So where does that leave me? What does God ask of us? What should our response be to Jesus?
He wants us to just BE. He wants us to BE in his presence and to recognize that HE is worthy.
I’ve noticed an interesting shift in the way we talk about summer. Before I started college, asking “What are you going to do over the summer?” usually meant “Are you going on vacation?” Now, I’ve come to realize that it means, “What are you going to DO to further your place in life? Are you going to work? Are you going to start an internship? Are you going to take the opportunities you have to earn something for yourself?”
What would it look like if we participated in a summer of just being? A summer where we learned to focus on BEING in God’s presence rather than DOING things in the world? Of course, I’m not saying to sit on the couch all day and do nothing. But even in the rhythms of school and work and whatever else we do, I wonder if we can learn to BE in God’s presence.
You can DO everything for Christ, but if you’re not BEING Christlike, it is worth nothing. In our rhythms of school and work and rest and in between, I wonder what it would look like for us to learn how to just BE in God’s presence.
I absolutely LOVE journaling. Journaling is a way for me to just BE in God’s presence without feeling like I have to DO anything. When I journal, I feel this huge sense of freedom in knowing that it doesn’t have to be perfect or even polished. There is freedom in not having to worry about grammar or punctuation or the formalities of writing.
In a conversation with a mentor of mine the other day, as I explained how I journal both to process my life and to pray to God, she asked me, “How do you define prayer?” I had never thought about that before. I wasn’t quite sure what to say. I usually just define prayer by what follows after “Dear God…”
Then my mentor asked, “What if we defined prayer relationally instead?”
She explained, “We can invite God into the small moments of our lives. We can learn to simply be aware that he is present in all things. And when you start to realize this, you will see that all of your journaling can be prayer, even if it’s not a ‘Dear God’ entry.”
WOW. I was stunned. What an incredible perspective shift.
We can pray continually by simply acknowledging God’s presence. We can BE in his presence without having to DO anything.
When we shift from an attitude of doing to an attitude of being, it gives us a huge sense of freedom. We cannot DO anything for God that he has not already done for us. Instead, he calls us to BE in his presence and to BE who he uniquely created us to be.
So am I good enough? No.
But is he good enough? OH YES.
I AM ONLY WORTHY BECAUSE HE IS WORTHY.
So just BE.