You are not enough

I keep seeing the same message all over the place: “You are enough.” I’m sure people mean it as an encouragement. Sometimes we feel broken down, inadequate, criticized, unsure of ourselves, and dear encouragers want to lift us up by assuring us, “You can do this! You are enough!”

But the thing is, I know I am not enough.

Apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. Romans 7:18

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 64:6

I know, because the Bible tells me. I know, because I have tried in my own strength and failed.

But thankfully, the story doesn’t stop there.

And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God. Ezekiel 16:14

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

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. 2 Corinthians 12:9

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 1 Peter 1:3-4

Ye are complete in him, Colossians 2:10, KJV

For a while when I was facing a task that I felt was particularly beyond me, it helped to reduce 2 Corinthians 9:8 to a few words to carry with me and remind me what God had promised: All grace. All sufficiency. All things. All times.

Sometimes as Christians encouraging Christians, we take God’s grace and help for granted when we assure others, “You are enough.” We think, “Well yes, of course it’s understood that we are only enough in His strength. Of course they know that.”

But we shouldn’t gloss over or take for granted that wonderful truth that God enables us to do His will when we abide in Christ. Sure, sometimes we need a boost of confidence or a switch from a negative to positive attitude. But we need to remind ourselves every day that we can only do His will by His grace and power. We need to consciously depend on Him. And when we achieve success, we need to remember that it came from Him, thank Him, and give Him the glory.

If you have blogged this phrase recently, please don’t be offended or think I am “getting after” or “correcting” you. I am not “blogging at” anyone in particular and have not kept track of the places I have seen this phrase. I’ve just been pondering the concept, and the Daily Light on the Daily Path selection for August 9 dovetailed with my own thinking. I wanted to share what was on my heart.

So what would some better encouraging phrases?

If this is God’s will, He will help you.

You can do all things through Christ. He will strengthen you.

God’s got this!

Or just quote 2 Corinthians 9:8.

What phrases encourage you yet keep the focus on God?

I Need Thee Every Hour

by Annie, S. Hawks, 1872

I need thee every hour,
most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine
can peace afford.

I need thee every hour,
stay thou near by;
temptations lose their power
when thou art nigh.

I need thee every hour,
in joy or pain;
come quickly, and abide,
or life is vain.

I need thee every hour;
teach me thy will,
and thy rich promises
in me fulfill.

I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee!
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to thee.

(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Monday, Let’s Have Coffee, Porch Stories, Woman to Woman Word-filled Wednesday, Wise Woman, Faith on Fire)

28 thoughts on “You are not enough

  1. Loved this post!

    It seems this is the lesson the Lord is teaching me this week. Whether through a blog post such as yours, my daily devotion or something I’ve read, He is reminding me that His power works through me and in that I can trust 1000%

    Thanks for sharing one of my favorite hymns. 🙂

  2. Oh my gosh, I loved this ” All grace. All sufficiency. All things. All times.”

    I’m going to keep saying that! I have been battling cancer all year accompanied with a myriad of health problems as a complication. The valley deep, but God took me through it!!

    Love your blog!
    Jill Mansor, author of FIGHTING FOR THE FINISH

  3. Great post! It actually takes the pressure off to recognise that we’re not enough and that we’re never going to be enough without God. I agree, we shouldn’t gloss over the wonderful truth that it is him who empowers us and enables us.

  4. Thank you, my friend, for sharing this here today. I loved all of the Scriptures that you have shared here today and each one would prove to be excellent to memorize if we don’t already know them…especially for when we have those times when we feel discouraged.

    My “phrase” for 2018 actually is “Jesus is Enough” and I did a wonderful Bible study on the book of Colossians where that thought permeates the entire book. I think my favorite verses from that study are Colossians 2:9-10…:”For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are COMPLETE IN HIM, who is the head of all principality and power.” I even wrote out from those verses that I keep in my kitchen window, “Jesus is enough!” 🙂

  5. You’ve put words to my own thoughts as I’ve seen the same phrase pop up all over my social media feeds. I am absolutely NOT enough – but praise God, Christ is!

    • I’m glad I am not the only one who has seen it and thought these things. It seems to be the primary emphasis of a lot of ladies’ ministries. How much richer and restful life would be if we get out eyes off ourselves and keep them on Him.

  6. Yes, the whole enough/not enough thing is all over social media now, books and blogs too. I am frankly tired of the concept! But I like your take on it. It’s really not about whether or not any of us is enough. It’s about Jesus being enough — and He is!

  7. Pingback: “A Heart at Leisure From Itself” | Stray Thoughts

  8. Pingback: End-of-month chatting | Stray Thoughts

  9. Pingback: What if we really don’t measure up? | Stray Thoughts

  10. Pingback: A look back at the blog in 2019 | Stray Thoughts

I love hearing from you. I've had to turn on comment moderation. Comments will appear here after I see and approve them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.