I messed up. In a very public way. A way I have harbored secret feelings of superiority over others who’ve made similar mistakes.
There are errors in my most recently released book. Plural. As in multiple mistakes.
You can see my very public apology here.
It’s not that nobody read it before I published it. Several people did. And they found many MANY errors I did correct. Maybe they marked the ones that remain and I failed to fix those. Maybe they missed them, too. Believe me, I know editors aren’t perfect. I will spare you my litany of excuses; believe me, there are many.
But, the truth is, nobody is perfect.
We are never good enough.
I know this. I tell every crafter that gathers around My Messy Desk this truth and I encourage them to embrace good enough done in love. So why did I expect I’d be any different? Why do any of us?
Satan had me bound up in guilt and shame for about a week. He whispered in my ear:
“Who do you think you are? What made you think you were qualified to write about Jesus? You’re a disgrace to your church and your family.”
Though I had taken copies for each of my aunts and cousins, I didn’t talk about the book when my family gathered for Thanksgiving. I hesitated to share my errors with my husband. And I apologized when anybody asked about purchasing a copy.
I literally let Satan silence my testimony about Jesus because my product wasn’t good enough.
What if Paul allowed his past misdirection of his passion to silence him (Acts)? Or young, unwed Mary hid her baby away in shame? Or the little boy hid his meager fish and loaves, convinced they weren’t enough (Matthew 14:13-21)? What if the widow had been too ashamed of her poverty to ask the prophet for help (2 Kings 4:1-7)? Or David had thought too hard about the apparent insufficiency of his weapon in the face of a giant (1 Samuel 17)? Or the woman at the well allowed her past indiscretions to keep her from sharing the future hope she found when meeting the Messiah (John 4:4-26)?
All these heroes of the faith trusted God to be enough for them.
When I shared my public apology, a friend commented that I was brave. That comment sparked a train of thought with implications far and wide for those of us who desire to do good. The real shame is that we have been convinced that admitting our failures is brave. I couldn’t help but wonder how much more good we would do if we realized we didn’t have to be perfect to do it.
I don’t know how Satan twists this concept for you. Maybe he makes you think you can’t host a Bible study because you don’t have all the books memorized in order or he convinces you your house is too much of a mess to entertain that new family from church. Perhaps he quiets your desire to share a Facebook post about God’s goodness because you have a questionable past or he holds your hand down in your lap when they ask for Sunday School volunteers by reminding you of how you lost your temper with your own children just this morning. Or maybe he even tries to convince you you aren’t worthy of God’s love.
Satan will always condemn and shame, but the Holy Spirit will convict and prompt us to confess so that we can walk in the freedom Christ won for us.
Our very best efforts are never going to be good enough to measure up to God’s standard. That’s why we need Jesus. He is greater than all our failures and messes and weaknesses. His blood covers all our sins.
Satan’s other tactic attacks us from the opposite angle. He tries to make us think we can measure up so we keep striving for the mark we can’t meet on our own. If he can make us think we can meet the standard, we lose sight of the fact that Jesus has already met it on our behalf.
We are never good enough on our own.
What we offer will always fall short. But Jesus makes what we commit to God’s service and for His glory enough. And when we bravely offer our little bit, mistakes and all, sometimes we get a front-row seat to watch God make our mess into a masterpiece.
Make the call. Invite the neighbor. Tell someone about Jesus. Write the words. Take the meal (even if it’s a five-dollar footlong you pick up on the way). Pray with that friend. Do the art. Apply for the position. Establish the business. Enter the contest. Lace up those running shoes. Register for the class.
I don’t have to wonder. I know I will never be smart enough, fit enough, fast enough, learned enough, strong enough, popular enough, stylish enough, right enough. Fast, faithful, or funny enough. Clever, classy, or clean enough.
I am never good enough.
And neither are you. But Jesus is all that and more. He is perfect, so we don’t have to be. And if the Holy Spirit uses something He inspires me to say or do to point one person to Jesus, well that’s good enough for me.
Whatever good God is inspiring you to do, Go. Do. It. Work at it to the very best of your ability. Commit every last bit of it, messes and all, to the Lord. And then stand back and watch Him make a masterpiece.
I can’t help but wonder how much good God could do through us if we stopped believing we had to be perfect for Him to use us? What would you do if you really believed you didn’t have to be perfect to do it?What would you do if you really believed you didn’t have to be perfect to do it? #nevergoodenough Click To Tweet
To purchase a copy of my not so perfect book, More Than A Name: Discover Who You Are by Studying Who Jesus Is, head over to Amazon.