Nov 4, 2016

The Paradox of Good Enough

This morning as I prayed for friends and family, the words “good enough” came to mind, along with how people use those words in different ways as reasons for why they don’t have or need a relationship with Jesus.

“I’m a good person.”
Translated, I’m good enough as I am, I don’t need Jesus. Yes, I pray to God, and I may even believe Jesus is His son. But I don’t need Him involved in my everyday life. I obey the law, I’m nice to people, I give to charities. God gave me a brain and I use it.
I’ve done too many bad things; if you only knew ____________.”
Translated, I’m not good enough as I am, I need to get cleaned up first. I’ve heard that Jesus loves me as I am, and that all I have to do is come to Him. But, well, I just can’t see how He can love me. I am unlovable.
Both views are rooted in pride. I can do it myself. Or, I am the only person on the face of the earth who God can’t love – I am the worst, no one is worse than me.
Before I surrendered my life to Jesus, I would have said both. I believed in God. I went to church, I prayed, I knew He was “up there” somewhere. I was a “good person” on the outside, and justified my okay-ness by all the “good things” I did.
But I also felt a keen sense of unworthiness deep down inside. I knew I could never measure up to any type of goodness standard. I was a mess of mean thoughts, selfishness, and fears. If people could read my mind and really knew me, they’d all run. No one I knew was as mean and selfish as me.
So what is the truth?
As I look back to how I lived before receiving salvation and inviting Jesus to take over my life, I remember emptiness and a vague sense of knowing I was missing something in my life. I tried to be a good person, just could never seem to measure up. I remember my growing sense of unworthiness, which was, in reality, Jesus revealing my need for Him.
Then as I started to learn more about Jesus through family, friends, and reading the Bible, my sense of unworthiness increased. Yet I heard over and over again, “God loves you just as you are.”
So I was apparently good enough for Him to love me; yet I knew I would never be good enough to get everything right according to how the Bible said I should live. I was so confused!
But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
(Romans 3:21-24, The Message, emphasis mine)

God sent His son Jesus to pay a debt we could never pay, so we could enjoy a living, breathing, intimate, life-changing relationship with Him. “Good enough”, or not, are two of the biggest lies people believe that keep them from receiving God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. But it's not about us at all.
Truth is, we can never be good enough no matter how hard we try; God loves us because it's Who He is: pure love.
When I invited Jesus into my life, I was still confused in the beginning and had so many questions about how to live this new life as a Christian, and about what it meant that I could never be good enough. I just kept asking, kept reading the Bible, and kept doing my best to be obedient to what I heard God saying. As I walked with Him, He taught me and changed me...and continues to amaze me at how He does so much for and in me despite me, if you know what I mean.


I am not the person I was then, and in the future I will be different than I am today. Thank God! 
Oh, the delightful joy of knowing God intimately! I can’t imagine my life without Him.
What about you? God loves you so much, and He longs to do for you what He’s done for me. Doesn't matter who you are or what you've done, you are good enough just as you are to receive God's love.
How do you get started? You choose.
 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
(Romans 10:9-10 NIV)

Yes, it's just that easy. He's waiting for you with open arms, will you invite Him into your life?


  1. Even as a believer, I get caught up in being "good enough." Good enough to keep His favor. Thanks, Mary, for the reminder that we are made good by Christ's sacrifice and by nothing we do. And we don't have to work to retain His favor because Christ's perfect sacrifice completed it all.

  2. Amen! It's so easy to forget that it's all about Him all the time every day.
    Thanks for your comment Sherry!


Thank you for your G-rated comments!