You are Not Good Enough for God

"I'm not good enough". Have you ever said that to yourself? Has this ever crossed your mind? Chances are, unless your blind or dishonest, you've thought this on more than one occasion. Often times it comes up in unexpected ways.

  • "I disappoint God so often, I'm not good enough to have salvation."
  • "I struggle with this same sin over and over. I'm not good enough. There is no way God could love me."
  • "I can't serve in ministry at church. I'm not good enough."
  • "God couldn't use me to bring someone to know Christ, I'm not good enough."

Pop psychology and all the self help books (including many "christian" ones) would tell you to stop the negative thinking and start with the positive thinking. They would encourage you to think about how special you are or how unique you are like a dainty little snow flake.

You Are Not Good Enough

Let me break the hard news to you. You are not good enough. What you think about yourself is 100% true. Did I just hurt your feelings? Please stick with me to the end. You and I are wicked sinners who disobey and reject God. The Bible tells us that each and every one of us are slaves to our sin. Paul tells us in Romans 3:10 "None is righteous, no, not one." We do not measure up. God's standard is perfection. No matter how much good we do we will never measure up to God's standard. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). Every single one of us do not measure up. We are not good enough.

Now if that was the whole story, this just might be the most depressing blog post you've ever read. Satan often speaks bold and direct lies to us, but he is much craftier than that. Often what he does is he takes a truth and twists it just as he did in the Garden of Eden. Often when we are plagued with doubts of "I'm not good enough" we are told a twisted version of the truth. Yes, You are not good enough, but that is not the end of the story.

But Jesus Is

Where we fail constantly to be obedient to the Lord, Jesus was fully obedient to God. He lived his life in total and complete submission to his Father. Jesus was completely blameless and perfect. He is the very righteousness of God.

So when we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, we confess our unworthiness. We confess that we are sinners who are not good enough. This is why we need Jesus. At the cross Jesus took on the punishment for your sins. He absorbed the wrath you were due and gave you his righteousness.  You have gotten a grade of "0" at life, Jesus gives you his perfect "100." We who were the wicked are now righteous through Jesus Christ.

So as you live your life for Jesus Christ and face the nagging, recurring voice telling you "You're not good enough". Agree, and then state the other half of the truth:

"Yes, I am not good enough, but Jesus is. 'I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me' (Gal 2:20)"

You see the truth is that you are not good enough for God. But the good news is that God has made us a way to be righteous through Jesus Christ. How great is God that he would send a savior to us to make us his righteousness? What amazing love! How wonderful in Jesus that he would give us his righteousness in exchange for our filthy rags? Yet this is the wonderful mystery and life changing truth of the Gospel.

So every time you think "I'm not good enough" just remember Jesus is.

Why Do Teens Abandon the Faith in College?

Paul Tripp in his book, Instruments in the Redeemer's Handstalks about a practice he calls "Fruit-Stapling", in which we staple good fruit to a tree with bad roots.  His point is that often in personal ministry, we never get to the heart of the matter.  Often times ministry is focused on the external, and neglects the internal.  Tripp applies this truth to teens leaving the faith in college.  Here is what he writes:

This is what happens to the teenager who goes through the teen years fairly well under the careful love, instruction, and oversight of Christian parents, only to go off to college and completely forsake his faith.  I would suggest that in most cases he has not forsaken his faith.  In reality, his faith was the faith of his parents; he simply lived within its limits while he was still at home.  When he went away to school and those restraints were removed, his true heart was revealed.  He had not internalized the faith.  He had not entrusted himself to Christ in a life-transforming way.  He did the "Christian" things he was required to do at home, but his actions did not flow from a heart of worship.  In the college culture, he had nothing to anchor him, and the true thoughts and motives of his heart led him away from God.  College was not the cause of his problem.  It was simply the place where his true heart was revealed.  The real problem was that faith never took root in his heart.  As a result, his words, choices, and actions did not reveal a heart for God.  Good behavior lasted for a while, but it proved to be temporary because it was not rooted in the heart