I’ll Never Be Good Enough

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I wouldn’t say I’m a bad person.

I mean, I’m a loving wife and mom, a good neighbor; I don’t steal, lie, or cheat, and I follow the rules. I do unto others as I’d have them to unto me. I read my Bible, pray, and have memorized a lot of Scripture.

All in all, I think I’m not all that bad.

I am done expecting perfection from myself as a person. I know I'll never be good enough, no matter how hard I try. Here's why this is a biblical attitude.

There are a lot of Christians that have bought into this kind of thinking.

Being the “good Christian”.

In fact, I think that this idea has created a sort of complex among Christians; a perfection complex where Christians work very hard to live up to an ideal.

And with each generation the ideal is just a little different, making “being a good Christian” a moving target.

And just about the time you feel you can finally relax, because you’ve kept a good track record at being a “good Christian” (I keep putting that in quotes, because honestly I have no idea what that even means, because I’ve never actually ever found a definitive description of what makes a good Christian good), you make a political comment, share that anti-abortion meme, or share your opinion on homosexuality and suddenly….

your thrust from “good Christian” to judgmental Christian, evil Christian, or fundamental Christian.

Scripture actually sets us free from this “good Christian” complex.

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Romans 3:10-12

No one is born good

Every person in human history, besides Jesus Christ, was born into sin.

The truth is, from our very first breath, we had a sin nature raging inside of us. This is precisely why no child has to be taught to hit another child, take toys away, or lie to get themselves out of trouble.

As parents we don’t like to think of our children as sinners, but that is precisely what they are. No, deep inside your child is not good. He or she may want to be good, but we must teach them that their goodness is not based on their behavior, but on the work of Jesus Christ.

Sin is instinctive because we are not born good, we are born sinful.

Our good deeds will never be good enough

Any religion that doesn’t not acknowledge the real purpose for Jesus’ sacrifice must revert to the good works of man to redeem him.

Even Christians who understand that our redemption relies solely on the blood of Jesus are tempted to act like their good deeds have something to do with it.

The truth is, there are no scales that will weigh our good and bad deeds, and nothing we we could ever cancel out the sin we’ve done. There is only one way this can be done and it’s by accepting the blood of Jesus for our atonement.

Our behavior does not define our goodness, because our behavior is corrupted by selfish ambition, hidden motives, and desire for personal gain.

The heroes of the Bible were not “good Christians”

Have you ever looked into the “Hall of Faith? Have you seen who is listed there?

Noah – who got dead drunk

Abraham – who lied

Isaac – who played favorites with his sons

Jacob – who cheated his brother

Joseph – who had a problem with pride

Moses – who killed a man

Rahab – who was a prostitute

Gideon – who was a coward

Samson – who had a huge moral problem

David – who had an affair and killed the husband of his mistress

Samuel – whose sons were corrupt

Beyond the hall of faith, we have the disciples who were uncouth and corrupt men; Paul persecuted Christians and even into their ministry we see Peter displaying prejudice against Gentile Christians.

While this shouldn’t give us license to go out and sin, it should remind us that despite our failures, God can still use us for His purposes!

When we fail to live up to some nebulous ideal, rather than allowing that failure to taunt us and haunt us, we need only to repent and rejoice in the grace of God that forgives and restores!

Failure is an event, not an identity – F. Dean Hackett – Foundational Blog

In fact, I’d argue that striving to be a “good Christian”, in and of itself, is sin – it is the sin of pride. It is assuming that if we’re good enough, God will love us more and bless us more.

It is a failure to understand that any goodness in us comes from God.

It is a failure to understand that any good things we do on are own are corrupted by our own selfishness and pride.

But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6

No, I’ll never be good enough.

Apart from Jesus I am far from enough.

But the blood of Jesus bridges that gap…by His blood and by His grace…..I am enough.

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  1. Thanks! I’ve been trying to live up to a false standard for many years, it’s just recently I’ve begun to break through on this. It has, on more than one occasion, caused me to temporarily give up in frustration. The next step is to get Christians to stop judging each other by false standards. That causes more pain than you can imagine. Love your and your father’s writings.

  2. I can relate to this so much because I was raised in a church where you had to perform to get God’s love and women had no voice in church at all. I am so grateful for your blog.. It has helped to understand that God love’s me not for performance that his son came for me to set me free from sin and death which leads to eternal life. I am starting to have a relationship with God and learning to be lead by the spirit. I need prayer where I can find a church who allow women to help in it. Our society have taught some men that women do not know how to take care of themselves. I wish you will and God bless you and your family Susan

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