By Carley Clark, Communication Specialist
You are not enough. That sounds like something I shouldn’t be saying on a counseling blog, right? Working in youth and college ministry, one of the greatest struggles I have seen is people not feeling like they’re good enough. I, myself, feel this at times, and in this age of social media, it can be incredibly easy to scroll through Instagram and compare your life or your body to those on your screen.
The problem with comparison is that it is a joy-stealer. It makes you feel as though you will never amount to the life or the looks or the career of these people. From this, you may begin idolizing and coveting what other people have. It may start as small as wishing you had the wardrobe of this person or had the flexibility to go to the beach whenever you wanted or had the house or lifestyle of someone else. Once these thoughts creep into your mind, it becomes so easy for discontentment to start showing up in various places in your life.
A few years ago, I had, what felt like, an existential crisis. I felt like as though I was failing in every aspect as my life: friend, daughter, sister, small group leader, Christ-follower, student, you name it. I looked at everyone around me and thought, “They’re so much better at ______ than I am.” “They are more beautiful than I am.” “I’ll never be able to amount to that.” “I am not good enough.”
The overwhelming feelings of not being good enough were consuming me, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I met up with my discipler and explained how I was feeling so inadequate in every aspect at my life. She looked at me and said, “You aren’t good enough.” Uhh what?! Isn’t that the exact opposite of what she should be telling me? She smiled and continued, “You aren’t good enough but Jesus IS. When God looks at you, he doesn’t see your mistakes or what you’re lacking. He doesn’t even see all of the good things that you have done. He looks at you- your life, your heart, your past, your future- and he sees Jesus. The love that he has for you today is the same love that he had for you on the day you came to know him, the day you were the most amazing and “perfect” Christian, on your worst day where you made the worst choices, and every day in between. His love for you does not waver.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”
And Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
That’s the beauty of the gospel! That we are NOT enough. Praise be to God that He doesn’t look at us and call us by the names of our junk! The Lord takes one look at his children and sees that we have been redeemed. Our sins are erased, and we are no longer defined by them.
Psalms 90:14 says, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Remember that the things of this world will not satisfy you. They will not fill that void of feeling like you are not enough. But Christ can and will satisfy every longing of your heart. Find a verse like this one that you can put on your mirror, car visor, phone lock screen, computer, or wherever you will look at it every day, as a reminder that you and the things of this world are not enough, but Jesus is!
Maybe spending too much time on social media comparing your life to others is affecting your “enough-ness”. Take some time away from social media, and use that time in prayer, spending time in God’s word, and enjoying life with the people around you.
If feelings of inadequacy are filling your mind daily and affecting your life, take that first step to come in and talk through how you’re feeling. Every person here at CCST can relate to feelings of inadequacy in some way. You are not alone! Come let us walk through this with you!