“I didn’t get enough sleep last night.”
“There’s not enough coffee to get me through this day.”
“I didn’t study enough for that test.”
“There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get all this work done.”
“I didn’t spend enough time with my kids today.”
“We don’t have enough money for that.”
Enough. Is there such a thing? Christmas wasn’t that long ago—did you spend enough time with family? Did you have enough desire and energy to frost the perfect reindeer cookie or decorate your mantle and banisters with the correct amount of twinkle lights? Did you have enough money to buy the perfect gift for that special someone? And now as we’ve gotten into the new year, let me ask you this: Have you been to the CrossFit gym enough times or eaten enough of the right fats to satisfy your 2020 goals? Have you saved enough money or read enough nonfiction books to keep up with the resolutions you made? Is there such a thing as enough?
Wrapped up within this idea of enough is our idea of self-worth, and if we spiral down the path of comparing our lives with everyone else’s (or the outward social media lives that we imagine they’re living), that can be very dangerous. The devil wants us to believe, in fact, that if we pursue all of these earthly goals, we will have enough or be enough . . . and then he turns on us and causes us to lose hope when we fall short. Of course, the devil is right about one thing; we on our own will never be able to do enough to earn a spot in heaven. We read in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ALL. That’s a pretty sobering statement, and the devil would like us to stop right there and fall to our knees in despair over our “never-enough-ness.” But God didn’t stop right there. The very next passage in Romans goes like this: “And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” We are enough . . . in Christ Jesus. If we are in him, we are enough, because Jesus did it all.
The apostle Paul understood the concept of “enough.” He called himself the “chief of sinners”—just imagine spending a good chunk of your life persecuting Christians and then being confronted by the Lord in a full-stop conversion (“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” [Acts 9:4]). I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that for the rest of his ministry, Paul wrestled with past sins. As he wrote to Timothy, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). That tagline is a small window into Paul’s battle with the devil, isn’t it? But despite the devil’s attempts to use his past to get him to despair, the Lord used his past to help Paul see grace that much more clearly. “But [the Lord] 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10).
We, like Paul, are weak; without Christ, we will never be enough. But God’s grace is sufficient for us. Jesus came to live among us. He wasn’t only enough. He did it ALL. And he makes us more than enough—he makes us perfect in God’s eyes.