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Enough is Enough

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It is a strange upbringing to hear each week that you fall short and are not enough. But it is the upbringing that many experience.

The difficult part is that it’s what we hear as we sit in pews and sing songs about love and hear sermons about love and proclaim that Jesus loves me.

How can He when I am not enough? I am a sinner. I will always be a sinner. I will never be good enough.

Without necessarily meaning to, how many people have fallen victim to this truth? We humans are fragile beings. We desire to be better and do better. We work hard to be the best at what we decide to put our hand to. We add immeasurable pressure to ourselves to be enough. . .

Be enough for our spouses.

Be enough for our jobs.

Be enough for our kids.

Be enough for our extended family, our neighbors, ourselves.

And grapple with the idea that we’re not enough, ever, no matter how hard we try for salvation.

Understandably, this can be crippling in so many areas. Not just faith, but in our every day lives. Doubt and questions arise. What is it all for if I’m never going to be enough? I’m aware that this realization impacts individuals differently. There are those who will try harder. There are those who will quit trying at all. And there are those who will be brave enough to start peeling layers and truly struggling with what being enough means in all aspects of their lives.

And those brave souls deserve more than trite cliches and platitudes that are offered–read your Bible more, attend church, pray harder, do devotions. The complexities of faith cannot fit into these tiny plastic phrases, and it’s a disservice to offer them to people who have the tremendous courage to battle fears and questions.

I have battled the formidable foe of enough. I have faced the why bother mentality and the try harder mentality. Neither of them brought me peace and both of them meant poor decisions that could impact my health negatively and wreck my emotional stability.

But an amazing thing happened on this journey. I somehow managed to surround myself with people who think I am enough. Just as I am. With all my insecurities and flaws and fears and questions. They love me. They encourage me. They tell me I am enough with whatever I have to bring that day.

It is liberating. And it is an eye opening blessing.

I am coming to terms with God’s plan for me isn’t because I’m enough.

It’s because I’m loved.

And that is enough.

God’s Gift: Compassion

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Day 18 of Advent and God’s Gift.

Bible Reading: Jonah 3:1-4:4, 11

day18

Jakob Steinhardt, Jonah Preaches in Nineveh, 1923, hand-colored woodcut

Jonah’s repentance while in the great fish is the part of the story that is well known.

But it’s what comes after that reveals the character of God and His next gift.

The Ninevites repent–up to the king on the throne down to the domestic animals.  They are not Israelites, and so Jonah bemoans God’s compassion towards them. They aren’t the “right” people.

But our God rebukes Jonah.  He claims the Ninevites and all the beasts.  His compassion is not for a select few, but for all His created.

Thoughts for today:

Have you ever passed judgement because someone wasn’t the “right” group?

What do you feel God is saying to you now about that action?

How can you be intentional about avoiding such behavior in the future?

God knows that we are weak.  We often focus too much on the outward, the perception, while He knows all.  May we work towards being more like Him and consider all possibilities in deciding our actions.