This question plagues us often through our lives; we see the examples of people who seem to have it all together, and we compare ourselves with them and we realize that we do not measure up. This is a discouraging feeling, and we wonder, “if I cannot live up to their standard of ‘goodness’ , how can I possibly be good enough for God”? Doesn’t God demand obedience to the “10 Commandments” and the “Golden Rule”? We look at ourselves and see anger, jealousy, lies, lust, bitterness, and greed, and we feel despair that we can never be accepted by God. We are used to letting others see our masks of happiness and confidence, but would never let them see our inner fears of being unlovable to God.
I have struggled with these feelings through much of my life, and, I have to admit, that, in and of myself, I am not very lovely when I stop to take time to get a glimpse of my inner heart. The badness hidden there far outweighs the good, and I am left unable to decieve myself. Imagine, then, how I felt when I learned that I am lovable to God, and that it is not my goodness that makes Him love me, nor could my goodness ever earn His love. The Bible, God’s truth written for us, is very clear about our inability to be good enough. So, then, in answer to our opening question, no, my thinking, my works, my charities, or my decisions, will ever be seen as “enough” to get near to God. The good news, however, is that God takes great pleasure in grace and mercy. Mercy is God withholding what we deserve (seperation from Him), and grace is His overwhelming us with what we do not deserve( love, and adoption as children).
Please read, and listen, to what God has revealed to us about our sin, and His grace and mercy. Please read and take great joy in the fact of God’s love…
” Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the power in the fact of God’s in the unseen world.[a] He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it”. (From the Bible, Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, chapter 2: 1-9)
Does your inability to be “good” enough for God break your heart, and cause despair? Please, take heart and rejoice with me in the fact that Jesus came to rescue those who could never be good enough. On the contrary, our badness is what connects us to Christ, for Jesus came into the world to “save sinners”.
May God grant you mercy and peace…Please come and visit us who are also not good enough.