Here’s my question for you today: Why do so many of us feel like we’re not good enough? And how do we deal with this familiar feeling?
The feeling of not being ‘good enough’ may have started in childhood with a demanding parent or teacher:
- Look how polite your friend Sam is, why can’t you be more like him?
- Seventy percent on your test? What did your classmates get?
- I’m paying big money for you to attend this school.
The Many Voices of Discouragement
It’s easy to feel like we’re falling short on something, like we’re not good enough. To get over this feeling, we go to the gym more and we work harder, and as a result we get more fit and maybe even get promoted—but that nagging feeling still remains.
I have to say social media does you no favours in terms of self-esteem. Constantly being exposed to other peoples’ (filtered) lives will not help your feelings of being good enough—your life looks amazing on social media too, doesn’t it? Try to limit checking social media to once or twice a day, and avoid reverting to it automatically every time you’re bored.
If only I was more outgoing; or learned a foreign language; if I could just be more interesting—the list goes on and on. Do you have one of those voices in your head? Are you doubting your talents, your strength, your ability to do what needs to be done?:
- My parents didn’t stay together.
- Something’s wrong with me.
- I’m not good enough.
- Didn’t get the job—something’s wrong with me.
- I’m not good enough, I’m a loser—no-one loves me.
- (Or worse) My family would be better off if I was dead.
For some people these negative thoughts keep playing in their minds like a broken record—Something wrong with me; I’m not good enough—that’s very hard to erase. This can have a devastating effect on your life, because it effectively prevents you from reaching your potential—and that’s sad:
- I am too much of all the wrong things and not enough of the right things.
- I am not a good enough Christian for God to use.
- I can’t possibly step out in ways God has gifted me, because everyone will see my failures and weaknesses and take aim.
We Find Reassurance in God’s Word
If you allow these things to become valid, it can chip away at your confidence, making you feel miserable and not worthy of being loved or appreciated. The truth is, God never wants you to feel inadequate or not good enough. He wants you to be aware of your weakness that you might lean into his strength, but never for a second does he want you to diminish your value. He never does that.
In the New Testament, 1 Peter 2:9 (The Message) says: “…you are the ones chosen by God…to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” That gives us the possibility of changing our attitudes with God’s help—to move from ‘not good enough’ to ‘God is good enough’, and he will help me through his Holy Spirit.
We are called God’s children. (1 John 3:1)
Don’t allow insecurity to diminish your potential or steal away your calling. They will if you don’t keep careful guard over your heart and mind. I can rest in the knowledge that he loves me and made me purposefully. Even when I feel like I’m not good enough, he calls me his child.
He’s already thinking more thoughts about you than there are grains of beach sand. (Psalm 139:17-18). Sure, you blew it, but I did not slip up when I created you. All your days have been written in my Book. This one did not catch me by surprise (Psalm 139:15-16).
You are created in God’s image. He made you who you are. “But you are our father, Lord. We are like clay, and you are like the potter. You created us”, says in Isaiah 64:8 (GNT). You are a child of God. He calls you his own.
“See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God’s children—and so, in fact, we are. This is why the world does not know us: it has not known God” says in 1 John 3:1 (GNT). God made you and prepared you. You have a purpose.
“God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.” says in Ephesians 2:10 (GNT).
Three Truths to Remember
When you don’t feel good enough, remember that:
- God is not surprised by you. While we might be shocked by how far our bad decisions can take us down the wrong path, God is not surprised at where we are. By his very definition of being God, he knows all things. There can never be a situation where God is caught off guard. He will never be shocked. The lack of surprise from God should encourage us because it means his word is true. His commands apply no matter our circumstances. While you may not believe where you are and may not know what to do, God is not surprised by you.
- God does not regret you. Other people might. You might regret many of your own decisions, but God does not regret loving you. It is not uncommon to start a relationship with someone only later to realise they are not the type of person we want to be involved with. Many people have an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend that they are ashamed they dated. It’s easy to assume God feels the same way about us. He loved us, but then we made bad decisions so now he regrets being involved with us. But that isn’t the Biblical story. While God may not approve of your actions, he does not regret loving you and he continues to offer his grace to you.
- God has a plan for you. When we hit bottom, it can feel as though our situation is hopeless. We can think we are through. But God is never finished with us. As long as we have air in our lungs, God is still working in us. Humanity gives up on God far quicker than God ever gives up on humanity. Thankfully the tendency of God is to do his greatest work in the midst of our darkest days. The times in which we think God would have the least to do with us is often the moment in which God is doing the most around us. No matter where you are, God has a plan for you. Don’t let negative thoughts take over your life today.