Not Good Enough: Hurrah!

tryingThank God for friends.

Chatting today, we shared our mutual shortcomings in the sphere of work/wifeliness/parenting/breathing.  Finally, we came to the conclusion that ‘good enough is – well, good enough.

You don’t have to be a wonder worker to justify your existence.

You don’t need a spotless home to be worthwhile.

The odd turkey twizzler will not kill your toddler.

Give your best and that’s all anyone can ask. You’re good enough, just as you are.

Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?  Liberating. Much better than beating yourself up for always falling short.

But it’s not quite the gospel is it? And if this is our hope we will probably end up condemning ourselves again. When things go wrong, we’ll mutter: But I’m doing my best… 

Problem is, the gospel of ‘doing your best’ was exactly what the medieval church taught, and it ended up enslaving millions.  There are encouragements in there – but it’s built on dodgy ground.

The Bible doesn’t say “You mean well, that’s what counts.

It doesn’t say, “God helps those who help themselves.” Or even, “Give it your best shot…

God doesn’t love a trier. He loves a quitter – someone who recognises that their best is not enough. Not the woman who gives it her all – the woman who gives her all to Him.

Okay then. But what do I do with my sense of failure? Pretend it’s not there? Even though it is…

When I beat myself up I uphold a kind of truth but there’s no grace.

When I tell myself “my best is good enough” I have some sense of grace but at the expense of truth.

Both of these lead to self-condemnation. But here is the gospel: I’m not good enough. Me, trying my best dammit, is a big part of the problem. However, I’m forgiven. I’m cleansed. I’m adopted and now, as God’s child I’m sent out again – knowing my weakness but clothed in His strength.

I’m not the wife / mother / worker / minister / domestic goddess I want to be. I’m not who my family and friends need me to be and most importantly, I’m not who God has created me to be.

But I AM forgiven. The blood of Jesus purifies me from every sin, every failure, every shortcoming. This means that I’m free to enter God’s calling on my life – not on the basis of my best but on the basis of Christ’s best.

Not good enough.  Thankfully, He is.



5 thoughts on “Not Good Enough: Hurrah!

  1. Wow! Good post Emma… Hard theological ground to negotiate in some senses… The ‘Good Enough Principle’ doesn’t really fit with the Gospel, you’re right! I suppose I’ve never really thought about it before but it’s an interesting one. MY ‘good enough’ (if I muster some grace for myself) isn’t God’s ‘good enough’. In fact, MY ‘good enough’ could even become an excuse for not trying more… For not giving God enough time / credit / prayer time.

    Man… I’ve got myself into a pickle with this one! You’ve really made me think.

    Thank you


  2. I love this- so tricky to hold a balance of “but we aren’t good enough and we do need grace!” when trying to navigate a world of encouragement, affirmation, self-love & self-care. I still feel very passionately about those things, but true freedom & joy is only found when we acknowledge that we ARE bad and we’re NOT good enough… but Jesus.

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