written by Leiana Barreyro
“You’re just not good enough.” These words, though not often explicitly spoken aloud, can frequently wander through our thoughts and seem to become true the longer they are there. We often try to compensate for these feelings of inadequacies through finding affirmation from others or seeking after temporary joys to distract ourselves. Romans 8:16-17 reminds us that, as Christians, we have been adopted into the family of God, we have become children of light and more wonderfully, we are now co-heirs with Christ. Yet our mind still chooses to compare ourselves to standards that are set around us and convinces us that we are still not good enough. What can we do when these superficial comparisons come up? What do we do when being “not good enough” overrules our thoughts?
The truth of the matter is we aren’t good enough. This may not seem reassuring at first, but it is an important element of the gospel. We were once separated from Christ and were children of darkness, allowing fleshly desires and pursuits to rule us. We aren’t good enough because our own deeds, no matter how “good” they may seem, were considered filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But praise God that the truth of the gospel does not stop there! This understanding of not being “good enough” shines a greater light on the fact that God, in his loving mercy, showed grace upon us and sent his son, Jesus Christ, who is good enough to die on the cross and pay for our sins (Ephesians 2:4-5). Yes, we aren’t good enough, but Christ is. Christ is sufficient for the forgiveness of our sins and has provided us with an eternal hope of things still to come.
You might be thinking, well, yeah, I know this, I know I have been saved, but when I get my test back, the temptation of comparing myself to how others did is still there or when I post a new picture on Instagram, I still get disappointed if I don’t get as many likes as so-and-so. I understand that I have been saved by grace, but I still struggle with comparing myself with those around me. Practically, how can I be fighting these thoughts of falling short?
Ensure that your mind is filled with truth! Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
A way to picture this is to imagine your mind like a box. You put different things in this box, such as a fond memory or facts for your upcoming Chemistry exam. Eventually, the box is going to fill up, right? Now consider this limited space. Your mind is limited on the amount of information it can retain and focus on at a time. Therefore, if you fill it primarily with Scripture, when you are sitting around and your mind starts to wander, you are more likely to pull out one of God’s promises rather than pondering on a trivial comparison that can often result in feelings of inadequacy.
Here are a few promises to keep in mind:
There are many more encouraging truths found in Scripture that we can commit to memory and remind us that our God, the creator of all things, cares for us and the small “successes” of the earth pale in comparison to what God has in store for us in the future.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing” and in Philippians 4:6-7, God promises peace that surpasses all understanding when we make our requests known to Him. Pray through the Scripture that you have memorized, pray for a repentant heart and understanding of what God intends from the situation, and pray for others! As we pray more, our hearts are humbled and it allows for us to continually place our full trust in God’s will.
If you still struggle with comparing yourself to others, as I often do, rest assured that Philippians 1:6 says “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” God is still working in our hearts and minds each day as we fight these sins of discontentment. Let us run this race together, renewing our minds and praying daily, as we set our eyes on the eternity we have in Christ rather than the things around us.
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