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Good Enough

December 20, 2011

Has anyone else struggled to find peace?  It’s an issue I’ve wrestled with since junior high school.

I’ve never really had any.

I was always taught that being a Christian and knowing Jesus was supposed to make my life better.  I’ve never bought into the whole, “I’m gonna be rich if I love Jesus” thing, but I really thought I should at least have some peace.

My life was never really any better.

I’m a thinker.  I’m an over-thinker.  I guess as a result of that I was never able to relax and enjoy any kind of peace.

I wasn’t praying enough.  I wasn’t reading my Bible enough.  I wasn’t helping at the church enough.  It was never enough.

Recently, some things began to change for me.  Oddly enough, it was while I was going through a time when I felt I was slipping away from God.

Like I said, I’m a thinker.  I may not be the smartest person, but I don’t like taking everything at face value.  I want to explore what I believe.

As I was wondering what was wrong with me and why my relationship with God seemed to be going the wrong way; some things began to jump out at me.

Actually, it was the whole of Romans chapter 8.  I’d encourage you to read that if you haven’t, or read it again.  Before you do, I want to give you another way of looking at it.

I’ve always read this chapter in the context of “I have to stop sinning”.  Paul talks a lot about “the flesh”.  If we live according to the flesh we’re going to die.  That’s exactly what it says.

But I don’t think that’s what Paul meant, exactly.

I don’t think this chapter is a commentary on our performance so much as it is a commentary on our dependence.

Who are we dependent upon?

Because, I think Paul is referring not just to the bad things that we do in “the flesh”, but also the good things.

Any good thing that we do to earn favor, earn a blessing or earn our salvation is a work of the flesh.  It is an outside-in action.  Our salvation and all of the good things we do are an inside-out action.

By relying on ourselves to do the good we think is required of us we are relying on “the flesh”.  Do you get that?

Helping the needy is no better for your spiritual health than smoking a big fat joint.  It may make you feel better about yourself, but they are both dirty and moldy in the sight of God.

We are not good.  We are lost and hopeless without a Savior.

It doesn’t matter how good we are.

We want to jump up and down and shout about how great God is, how powerful He is and the mighty things that He can do.

He is.

We stop short so many times though.  We believe those things when we’re doing well.  We believe those things when we’re praying for someone else.

When it comes to our own peace and standing; how often do we take that power from God and try to do it ourselves?  How many times have you skipped a prayer time because you weren’t quite “right”?

I know I’m not the only one.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1)

We are justified, not by our goodness, but by our faith.

Justification: an act of free grace by which God pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous, on account of the atonement of Christ.

We’ve already been given the thing we so often try to earn and deserve.

That “thing” we want so bad but can’t always express is acceptance from God.  Because of the blood of Jesus; we are not only accepted, but we are accepted as righteous.

That’s the peace I was looking for.  We cannot earn that.  Our peace comes from God and God alone.  It’s the peace that passes all understanding.

It only comes through a spiritual life.  It only comes through the realization that it’s not in our power to obtain.  It is only by the grace of God that we will ever obtain it.  It only comes when we are dependent upon God for our goodness.

If you have believed, rest assured that you have obtained your acceptance as the righteous person you are trying so hard to be.

Seek God, not your goodness.  That’s where the peace is.

I don’t think I’m the only one who has struggled with this.  Am I?  Have you ever struggled with trying to be good enough?


From → Preachy Thoughts

  1. This is something that I have struggled with all my life. In my previous blog, I literally have a post entitled “Good Enough.” I am also an over thinker who struggles with control issues. You hit the nail on the head in this post. We must praise God not only in the triumphs we experience, but when we experience failure. Great writing, your words are a great inspiration.

  2. Thank you. So true, sometimes our biggest failures are simply God trying to make us see something we never would have seen otherwise.

  3. One of the best blog posts I’ve read in quite some time!

  4. Amen! Paul taught me that too! NO LIE!! keep it comin!

    • Thanks Stacy. It’s so great when God finally reveals the truth about something you’ve read you’re whole life.

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