Fighting a lie with a half-truth doesn't do much good. There is only one foot to stand on, and therefore, not much fighting power. It might help chase the lie away for a day or two, but it cannot strike its death blow.
Last night it struck me - hello! - that is what I've been doing for some time now. No wonder I keep struggling with this particular issue.
When the day drags on, and I am weary, slightly down, and feeling like I've failed, this lie nags me: You're not enough. You can't do enough, be enough. You'll never be enough.
I used to say, "Oh, yes, I am. I can. I'll be enough if it kills me." Not in my words so much as in my actions - I'd try harder, work more diligently on improving myself or the work of my hands. And often I would accomplish it. Then, as life got more challenging, becoming a wife and mom, running my own business from home, serving in the church, etc...I began to lose more and more battles to that lie by fighting with that weapon of Try-Harder (which is, in fact, another lie).
And then the Lord revealed to me that I actually can't be enough. I will never be enough to meet those impossible flesh-imposed standards. Even if I were to be perfect, I would not be satisfied. I need to find my satisfaction in God.
So, I began letting go. Releasing those standards. Raising the white flag and just stopped trying harder. It freed me and I began to live again.
But lately, I've been discouraged, and the lie is back: You're not enough. You can't do enough, be enough. You'll never be enough."
This time I haven't slipped back to trying harder. However, I still hadn't grasped the whole truth. Instead, I've been telling that lie, "I know I'm not enough. I won't ever be perfect. So quit trying to make me think I have to be." It helps for a little while, but it's more like a win by resignation (you know when you played checkers as a kid and your little brother gave up because you wouldn't move your checkers where he could jump them? Or maybe that was just my brother...). I still felt a bit sad and discouraged and not like the victorious woman I am in Christ.
Until last night I realized this: No, I'm not enough for that impossible standard of perfection. But I am just enough for what God wants of me.
I am right where he wants me. It's true - I honestly can't do anything in my own strength. But that doesn't mean I don't have strength! It is God who equips me with strength (Psalm 18:32)! By his grace, I am the wife my husband needs, the mother my son needs, and the servant the church needs. Me - just as I am - I am accepted by God, and my family, and my church. God uses me as he will and makes me sufficient to obey his call.
Paul wrote the Corinthian church, "Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant..." (2 Cor. 3:5-6). No, we are not sufficient, but God has made us competent! He suffices us and those that he reaches through us.
What blessed relief. It takes away the guilt when I feel like a failure. I am covered in the blood of Jesus and the grace and strength of the all-powerful God equips me to live each day. He makes me competent.
So I rest in him.
Be gone, lies. I may not be enough. But my God is...and he has me just where he wants me. It is enough.