I am not enough. I am not good enough. I am not strong enough. I am not wise enough.
I am not enough. And neither are you. You are not enough.
Last week I heard a song on my local Christian radio station that troubled me. The lyrics repeatedly sang “I am enough.” Without qualification. No mention of what Jesus did and gave on our behalf.
Quite possibly the intention of the song is that with Jesus we are enough. But it does not say that. And that’s what troubled me. Whether intentional or not, the song reflects a pervasive worldly attitude that has filtered into the church.
In his 2017 article, “Should Churches Promote High Self-Esteem,” author Joshua Clayton explains why trying to foster high self-esteem is contrary to biblical principles:
“The promotion of the self-esteem concept was originally designed to fit into the paradigm created by psychologists in their finite understanding of man’s true needs separate from Scripture… everything psychology suggests for man’s ultimate need is completely contrary to God’s Word. Choosing to esteem self is the exact opposite of what Scripture teaches regarding the believer’s trajectory… The ultimate goal of seeking to promote high self-esteem is to teach man to depend on man, whereas the ultimate goal of Christianity is to show man that, apart from God, we can do nothing (John 15:5).”
Why We are Not Enough
The Bible clearly teaches we are “not enough.” None of us can meet God’s glorious and holy perfection. Not a single one of us deserve Him. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
In fact, we all deserve death and eternal condemnation. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a). We are not enough. We cannot save ourselves.
But wait… when we couldn’t do it, when we were weak, when we weren’t even aware of God…
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6).
There was nothing we could do to save ourselves. We could never be good enough. We could never work hard enough. Ah… but we didn’t have to.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Nope, I am not enough. You are not enough. And that’s exactly why Jesus gave His life for us. None of us are enough. But Jesus is more than enough. (Find out more about how to have a saving relationship with Jesus.)
When I am…
Jesus wants us to recognize our weakness and limitations so we will learn to depend on Him. When we erroneously believe we “are enough,” we become self-sufficient, independent, and prideful. God invites us to bring our limitations and weakness to Him. He supplies what we lack.
I am helpless, but God is my Helper (Hebrews 13:6).
I am weak, but God is my strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
I am a sinner, but Jesus is my righteousness (Romans 10:4).
I deserve death and destruction, but Jesus is my life and my salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
I am hopeless, but Jesus is my hope (Romans 5:2).
No, you are not “enough.” But you are chosen. You are loved. You are wanted. You are forgiven, adopted, redeemed and restored. We are not enough. But Jesus is more than enough and that’s all that we need.