Tag: society

You Are Not Enough

This blog comes due to a question I was going to ask a friend: How do you see what’s wrong with you and still love yourself or believe you’re worthy of good things?

This is my response to my own question.

There are two (at least) dangerous lies circulating society.

You are worthy.
You are enough.

Yes. You read that correctly.
Yes. I said it (insert Nene Leakes meme hither).

I have believed or attempted to believe these lies in an effort to live at peace with myself. It’s the message of beauty campaigns, magazines, hashtag movements, daily affirmations, pep talks, etc.

However, I have found the very opposite is true.

You are not worthy.
You are not enough.

Believing you are either of these two things facilitates the act of self worship–idolatry.

First. The very fact that we present that we are worthy of something is a belief that we’ve done enough to deserve this thing. (Granted, faith is a principle which governs the systems of the world–you can demonstrate by your works what you believe and attract what you’re expecting.)

However, we’ve misapplied this term or idea of worthiness. There is only One that is worthy. That’s YAH. There is none other.

Second–in tandem, you cannot do enough to be “deserving” or “worthy.” Your value is not what you do or in what you’ve done. Life is not the rewards system we often think it is. Do this and you get that. Do this and you’ll be worthy of that. Life is random and unfair. So, how will we have peace when things happen we feel we don’t deserve?

For humans, I get why we desire to feel worthy. Therein lies a belief that if I see something as bigger than myself and worthy of worship/praise, I am no longer valuable. This is not true. You can never truly know who you are until you know whose you are. Now, if you choose to only belong to yourself, you shall never experience the fullness of who you were made to be.

Knowing whose you are gives meaning and direction to your life. If you are His, it helps you see the tiny important part you play without blowing it out of proportion or minimizing it to a level that insults the One who made you (belonging to yourself).

It was never intended to be a trade off in which either YAH is good and worthy or I am good and worthy. We were meant to exist within a reality that says YAH who is worthy of every praise we could ever give demonstrates His character in that He takes care of us. The very fact that the most powerful being would seek to see about you ascribes far more worth than you could ever give yourself.

So, these lies…

1. I’m not enough because I am not complete. He takes care of me–indicating my need for Him. I am not complete without Him.

Tangent: When I say He takes care of me, it does not mean He gives me everything I want and does not allow me to experience pain. Instead, it means He has care for me. He cares about me. If He controlled every single aspect of my life, that would prove He cares more about Himself than anything else. That’s not love. He would have the need to control everything because His very nature was contingent on it. But, because YAH’s existence and nature is not contingent on anything else around Him, He has no need to control every single thing in order to prove He is who He says He is. He’s still Him when things look contrary. He is complete within Himself. He is ONE with Himself.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

2. I am not worthy because even my righteousness is filthy rags before Him. I cannot produce anything pure aside from Him. I need Him to even be right.

This shouldn’t paint a picture of self-hate. Instead, it should encourage adoration of Him. He’s beautiful and has made me to be beautiful–complete, lacking nothing. That cannot happen apart from Him or His people.

Self-hatred is an incorrect reaction to the beauty of YAH. Rest is the correct response to the beauty of YAH.

Resting in Him is a life of true Sabbath. I shall not go outside of Him to have my needs met. (This does not mean He doesn’t meet needs through people–that’s His model). I enter true rest knowing that nothing but Him causes me to be complete–whole, lacking nothing. I rest knowing that true connection to Him (not religion) can save me. I rest knowing I don’t and can’t be enough on my own.

When I am perfect (always connected to Him), I rest.

The systems of the world don’t provide rest.
Religion doesn’t provide rest.
Status doesn’t provide rest.
Education doesn’t provide rest.
Wealth doesn’t provide rest.
Power doesn’t provide rest.

All of these things can only imitate what YAH intends to do and be for His people. We often go outside of Him so that we can prove we don’t need Him. This reveals an insecurity in the human race. We are weak and hate it. We hate the idea of needing a Being we employ faith to believe in. So, we find ways outside of Him that are only imitations of Him:

The systems of the world: He is the King of an unseen kingdom.
Religion: He is what is sacred.
Status: He has no need to prove his importance. Humans have merely discovered it.
Education: He is knowledge.
Wealth: He is wealth.
Power: He is power.

Humans seek to replicate who YAH is to prove they don’t need Him–thus proving they do. This is the tireless grind of the human life. Can I ascend without Him?

Relationship with Him is an invitation to rest from your efforts to prove you don’t need Him.

Messiah said even His burden is LIGHT. Even work is rest in the Almighty.

“For My yoke is gentle and My burden is light.”

Mattithyahu (Matthew) 11:30 TS2009

True belief in Him is rest. It’s rest from all the work you used to do to make yourself SEEM right (complete). Now you are right. Now you are His.

So, enter that rest.

The Danger of Comparison

The Danger of Comparison

You don’t even think about it. You walk into a room; it happens. You scroll on Instagram; it happens. You go to the mall; it happens. You enjoy a family holiday; it happens. You breathe; it happens. As much as you may tell yourself, it’s not just you. We all do it; whether or not we’d like to admit it. What is this thing we all do? Drumroll, please!

Compare.

We compare ourselves to anyone and everyone. Comparison is almost as first-nature as breathing. We don’t even have to think about it.

It’s not anything new. It is natural for humans to desire approval from other humans. Therefore, we examine what is ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ and we model ourselves after this.

It’s interesting though. In a culture in which this idea of ‘living your own truth’ is so prevalent, comparison is still so high. We encourage people to be unique and individualistic no matter the consequences. Still, people find themselves comparing themselves to others.

What makes us do this?

Well, there is an inner moral system within every human which governs their ideas about the world and the decisions they make. Some call it our ‘conscience.’ C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, supposes there is a sort of universal law. This universal law is a preset standard against which all humans examine human behavior.

We have evidence of this in our natural inclination toward saying things like, ‘He shouldn’t have done that,’ or ‘that’s not fair.’ There is this natural belief that there is a specific way to behave even if there is no law or rule to indicate this. These thoughts often come from a natural preference.

While our culture or religious beliefs may largely influence these ideas, there is evidence that this natural inclination toward an invisible universal law exists beyond these contexts. In other words, your religious beliefs or culture upbringing are not the exclusive influences on what you deem right or wrong. Moving on.

The existence of a universal law in and of itself does not explain why we compare ourselves to others. Let’s look deeper. Let’s go back to the beginning.

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, provides an account of the creation story in which God created what we see and what we don’t see (Genesis 1:1). You can follow the beautiful story from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2 which goes into greater detail.

Chapter 3 records the story popularly titled as ‘The Fall.’ It’s the story of how man went from having this perfect intimate relationship with God to running away in shame due to their sin. Prior to the fall, we discover this beautiful relationship between God and humans. God gave humans dominion (authority and ownership) over the earth. God blessed them and all was well.

Unfortunately, the fall distorted everything. Where wholeness and perfection once rested, brokenness entered. We began to seek our own which is always less than what God has and had given.

Before, our image and identity was found in God. After, our identity was being shifted and conformed to other broken images. We gave up the image of God and elevated created things rather than the Creator.

We think that when we compare ourselves to others, we’re just trying to dress like them, talk like them, or have friends like they have. There’s so much more to comparison than that.

Comparison is a thief of joy.

Comparison is a thief of identity.

Comparison kills.

Comparison works against the intimate process we find ourselves in.

The Bible says, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:29).

This reveals that God is trying to shape us to look like His Son, Yeshua (Jesus) the Christ. We are to look so much like Him because we are of the same lineage; “firstborn among many brothers and sister.”

You don’t usually know what comparison is robbing you of in the moment; but rest assured, the loss is great.

It will never truly benefit you to measure or compare yourself to others. They’re broken also. God is still conforming and shaping them to look like His Son. Why compare yourself to an unfinished product who’s comparing themselves to another unfinished product?

Make sure your foundation is built on and rooted in Christ. Anything else will fail. Christianity will fail. Religion will fail. Looks will fail. Riches will fail. Relationships fail.

Only the WORD of God will last forever.

 

 

*I do not own (or the rights to) the featured image.*