Perfect is a Lie and You are Enough

Friend, you are enough. Today, as you are, with all your frailties and imperfections and fears and struggles. You are enough.

I know we know this.  Or, at least we would say we know this, wouldn’t we?

But then we strive for something that doesn’t exist.  We feel the sting and the angst of not measuring up. We compare our insides to somebody else’s outsides, our sweat-stained life to their Sunday best, and we feel like we are failing at something or everything.

Oh friend, will you believe me?  Perfect is a lie, and you are enough.

We spend our lives trying to excel at meaningless things, trying to live up to a lie that we need perfect homes or perfect families or perfect hearts.  And we push other people away because we think that everything we have to offer of ourselves isn’t enough.

Friend, you are enough.

I have a hard time not scoffing at this.  The voices remain from my hard-nosed, short-on-grace, legalistic beginnings in the church that told me not to trust self-esteem.  My internal theologian starts arguing, “But man is depraved!  We deserve nothing but sin and death!  You don’t need self esteem, you need god-esteem!” 

And it’s true, we are not perfect. We are not fully the people we were meant to be. We are broken in a million ways, and desperately in need of God’s grace.  But you know what else? God calls us his beloved.  We are loved. Exactly where we are.  Powerfully, fully, fiercely loved.  And we are enough.

You are enough. Not by virtue of how well you perform, or how well you can scrub yourself up to look good and holy, but based on who has made you.  You are enough because the God who made you out of dust has filled you with life and breath and purpose.  You are enough because, no matter who or what comes against you, the maker of the universe is adamantly for you.

You are enough.  You aren’t perfect and you don’t have your shit together, and you are going to fall down and fall short. This. Very. Day. But you are enough.

You are a beacon of hope for somebody today.

What if all the ways you think you are failing are actually a beacon of hope to those around you today?  What if your messy imperfect life is a warm and needed message for someone that it’s okay to not be okay and that sometimes life is hard?

What if that pile of laundry or messy garage says, “it’s okay to not be on top of your to-do list”? What if opening your door to your mess and chaos says, “you matter more than my housework”?  What if takeout or leftovers or food from a box says, “I have a lot going on, but sitting around a table with you matters to me”?  What if your past and your hurts and your sin-struggle says, “you are not alone”?

What if all the ways we think we are failing are actually beautiful reminders that perfect is a bold-faced lie and we are all struggling through this messy life?

Friend, you are enough, just as you are, in this moment.  You are of deep intrinsic value, deserving of love and acceptance.

You are needed.  You bring value to this world just by being you.

You are precious.  Called beloved by the maker of the universe.

You are enough.  Not because of what you’ve done, but because of who has made you.

Friends, can I challenge us both today?  

Let us not be afraid to define ourselves as a people powerfully and perfectly loved by God.  Not by our faults and our failures and our struggles, but by the faultless, relentless, freeing love of God.

Because, beloved, any other identity is a lie.

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