My spidey senses, a.k.a. Holy Spirit discernment, tingle[s] every time someone says, “You are enough.” I hesitate to agree. Not because I can’t find a degree of freedom in the thought. Not because I am holier-than-you or haughty about it. And not because it is always wrong. I hesitate to agree with the idea that “I am enough” or “You are enough” because on its own, that statement is misleading.
“You are enough” is a slippery slope. At best, it hovers close to independence and at worst, it reeks of pride. And when we degrade ourselves into believing that we are powerful enough, good enough, or even faithful enough, we settle for less than God’s best for us.
I think humanity tries to find freedom wherever it can. Many turn to supposed “freedoms” like alcohol, drugs, complacency, or debt. But if any given action, attitude, or object controls us, is that true freedom? Definitely not. Rather, these hindrances bog us down with the weight of our choices.
In Matthew 19, a rich young man comes to Jesus and asks, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus replies, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good.”
Jesus did not say any deed, in itself, was good. He said, “There is only one *who* is good,” meaning himself.
I can do nothing to earn my salvation. I cannot be enough. There are no deeds good enough to earn my way into favor with God.
Romans 10:5-6, 9-10 says,
Righteousness, or being justifiable, based on the law was current to the Old Testament. The law and prophets were looking forward to the savior who would come one day. They had to live by the law in order to be right, justifiable, in God’s eyes.
But righteousness based on faith came with Jesus Christ. When I choose to believe that Jesus is who he says he is, that Jesus is Lord, I am justified. I’ve heard pastors explain it this way: justified means just-as-if-I-never-sinned. Then, once I confess with my mouth who Christ is, I am saved. I am perfect and sinless in God’s eyes once again because of who Jesus is to me. Because of my dependence on Jesus.
The gospel is all about how God loves us no matter how high or low our standards of “enough” have become. Those standards could never come close to God’s standards of perfection, yet in His goodness, He longs for a relationship with me. Even though I can never be righteous or justifiable on my own.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says,
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'”
The other day, I was listening to the Risen Motherhood podcast and heard the hosts interview Vaneetha Risner, an author and mother who has suffered greatly in her life and found joy in Christ through every situation.
In the interview, Risner said,
“Dependence is the promised land.”
That statement flipped a script for me. Our culture hinges on independence. From a young age, we long for the time when we will make decisions for ourselves, and often make some mistakes in pursuit of our choices. *God has designed us with this longing. This is what allows us the freedom to choose Him, and also the freedom to live our own way. God does not force himself on me. I have the free will to choose as I will.
But as followers of Christ, we know that we are called to depend on God.
In order to depend on God, I need to seek Him daily. I cannot be the patient mother my son needs, a loving wife to my husband, or a thoughtful friend to others without recognizing that I need help to do so. I simply do not have the capacity to be the woman who does it all.
I am not enough. I, alone, do not have the utmost amounts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control required to handle life the way God calls me to.
But Jesus Christ lived the perfect life and became the perfect sacrifice so that I never have to strive for perfection here on this earth. All I need to do is repent of my sin. And trust that Jesus is who he says he is.
Then, as I seek out God’s will in my life, I will find freedom.
That podcast episode description said it so well:
“When we trust that our sufficiency is in Christ, our hearts are freed to steward the gift of motherhood faithfully with what God has given us today.”
You can replace the term motherhood with any gift in your life: singleness, time, space, family…
“When we trust that our sufficiency is in Christ, our hearts are freed…”
My heart is not bogged down by thinking I have to be “enough.” That is too much pressure for me. I could never live up to “enough,” whatever that means.
God is gracious to be infinitely more than enough for me, day in and day out.
And I find freedom in that.
Written by Leah Honnen. Leah Honnen is a wife, momma, and infertility warrior living in Jacksonville, IL. She is a homemaker and volunteers at her church, but loves spending time fixing up her pre-1920s home with her husband, John. Leah writes on the lessons she continues to learn in daily life – through infertility, motherhood, music, friendships, and more on Instagram @leahhonnen.