Never good enough?!

February 1, 2007 at 4:45 pm 7 comments

Why is it that so many of us are performance driven?  We evaluate who and what we are on the basis of what we have accomplished, how much money we make, how our children turned out or how good they are, judging ourselves by “was I good enough or did I do a good enough job.”

I don’t think that I am the only one who has lived much of their life driven by how good I was or how well I performed, feeding off the applause of those I was trying to please but never ever able to please myself.

I am here to tell you that evaluating life on the basis of our most recent accomplishment or a compliment, or being driven by performance’s first cousin perfectionism, is a recipe for disaster. 

Why?  Because we can never be good enough, successful enough, popular enough, wealthy enough, or enough in any way to satisfy the requirements of the performance/perfectionist criteria and more and more compliments are necessary to fuel the drive to keep trying.  To try and measure up to that unreachable star always ends, my counselor says, in self-destruction.

Is there a better way?  Indeed there is and it is called grace.  The grace that is in Jesus, the Christ.  Living in the graceful presence of Jesus is liberating and life giving.  When we begin to understand that grace is the freedom to fail, to fall short, to not reach “enough” we begin to live as we were created to live.

If you have not read anything by Brennan Manning you need to.  Abba’s Child, Ruthless Trust, Ragamuffin Gospel are a few of the titles that have come from Brennan’s heart.

Let this quote introduce you to Brennan (or remind you why you love his stuff) but more than that let it introduce you to the joy of grace living: …the longer you live in the presence of Jesus, the more accustomed you grow to His face, (and) the less adoration you will need, because you will have discovered for yourself that He is Enough.  And in the Presence, you will delight in the discovery of what it means to live by grace and not by performance (Abba’s Child pg 48).


Entry filed under: Culture, Faith, Thoughts.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brandon  |  February 2, 2007 at 8:50 am

    I enjoy starting my day with reading your stuff. there is a certian freedom and peace that in echoed in your heart. thank you for sharing.

  • 2. Mike Rutter  |  February 2, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Thanks . I was having a bad morning.

  • 3. Doug Wright  |  February 2, 2007 at 4:58 am

    We sometimes try to justify our existence in life by thinking we must prove ourselves worthy of our position. Self becomes the motive. The better I am at what I do, the more secure I feel. I no longer have to rely on God but now I can rely on myself. Feeding self however will always eventually fall short. We are created in Gods image to praise and honor Him.
    II Timothy 4:1-5 Paul gives Timothy the charge of Preaching the Word; “be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, dishcarge all the duties of your ministry.
    Paul was not an advocate of proving self, instead he was an advocate to teach the Word and let God take care of the rest. Including his very existence. A worthy example.
    Thanks for your thought provoking words. We need to be challenged as you challenge yourself.

  • 4. Steve Grace  |  February 1, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Most great miracles and moves of God are ushered in by people who in the world’s eyes are failures. legalistic religion has destroyed so much of God’s intention throughout the ages. Still does today. But by His grace He always initiates an alternative redemptive process which brings greater effect and blessing. Jesus, Paul, Peter and all of the apostles were failures. But I choose to live my life by their words and the hope they died for.

  • 5. Harris/Jeanne  |  February 1, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Greg – We were first introduced to these concepts of grace when we read the book “Free for the Taking”, The Life – Changing Power of Grace, by Joseph R. Cooke in the late l980’s. We applaud you for capturing the essence of God’s love and sharing it with others. We look forward to hearing more from you.
    Harris and Jeanne

  • 6. Brooks  |  February 1, 2007 at 7:39 pm

    Lots of folk struggle with this one Greg and what you’ve written is some good stuff. We live too much by what we see and not by faith. We’re too temporal and not eternally minded. We’re too enamoured by “this” or “our” kingdom to live in “The” Kingdom!

    Love ya bro,


  • 7. Andy Taylor  |  February 1, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    I’ve been slow in getting to the comments, but not lacking in reading what you are writing. Keep it up. I think it’s good for us all, you and Linda included.
    “Never good enough”, Thanks for addressing what most people wrestle with but never talk much about. Genuine maturity that only comes from experiencing His presence and then the grace that is sufficient, is the only remedy for the ‘not good enough’ syndrome. When I come to the reality that I was ‘good’ enough for Him to die for, I begin to find my way out. Love you!

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