I Am Not Enough
I had a stranger approach me at work recently and the conversation we had inspired this blog post and two others coming in the future. She told me her therapist wanted her to write "I am enough" on index cards and place them where she'd see them. She told me she didn't feel comfortable doing that.
"I am enough" is a common phrase in therapy. It's used to remind people of their worth and that their worth doesn't come from others.
But for Christians, that phrase shouldn't sit well because we know it isn't true. We know that no one is enough. We will never be enough. It's not possible. On our own, we are fallen and sinful and have no worth.
Like the "I am enough" statement serves as a reminder of, our worth doesn't come from other humans. But it doesn't come from ourselves, either. Our worth comes from God. We have worth because we are His children. We have worth because He loves us. We have worth through Him alone. On our own, we are nothing.
We can never be enough and we shouldn't try to be. Trying to be enough shifts us from being reliant on God to reliant on ourselves. The moment we do that, we forget how much we need God. We forget that we are fallen. We forget that we are sinful.
We shift into the thinking of our culture. The "you do you" and "treat yourself" and "self love" culture. Those ideas put God second. It doesn't matter how "good" of a person you are, you cannot be enough. Believing that you are allows you to forget your reliance on God.
I want to clarify something. You are not enough and you are worthless on your own, but you should still treat yourself the way you treat others. That is, eat, sleep, and keep yourself healthy. But to take the idea of keeping yourself healthy and allowing it to turn into relying on yourself is another thing entirely, and that's where sinfulness and pride enter.
I know I've said in the past that you have worth. I wasn't sure how to phrase this blog post before. I still mean what I said in the past, in the context in which I said it. You are worth too much to hurt yourself. You are worth too much to want to die. But that worth comes from God, not yourself.
You are not enough. I am not enough. We never have been and we never will be. That doesn't have to be a depressing thought. In fact, I find it comforting. Here's the thing: I don't want to define my own worth. I don't want to rely on myself. I don't want to be enough. Because I know I can't. I know human nature will fail me and I know that I am helpless, worthless, and sinful.
I take great comfort in the fact that I have a God who still cares about me. I don't need to define my own worth, because I have a God who is worthy. I don't need to rely on myself, because I have a God I need to rely on. I have a God who is more than enough and because of that, I am not. I don't need to be.
Instead of "I am enough," the woman I spoke to at work is writing "I am a child of God" on the index card her counselor wants her to use. You should do the same. Instead of telling yourself that you're enough, remind yourself that you are a child of God and take comfort in the fact that God is enough.