“God has given us a dignity that nothing can take from us and has provided a hope of glory that outweighs our shame. God is enough, and our hope is always better placed in Jesus. When we are in Christ, the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us, and that is enough for whatever stormy sea we sail.”
I recently heard an interview on the radio where an individual confidently asserted, “You are enough.” I presume the interviewer clutched her chest with tears welling in her eyes because the words so moved her. If you scroll social media for more than thirty seconds, you will likely swipe past this phrase that permeates our culture. “You are enough” is a frequent mantra of self-help authors and motivational speakers. It has been the subject of children’s books and countless blog posts. One of my favorite Christian bands has even released a song by the three-word title in which the chorus drones over and over, “You’re enough, you’re enough, you’re enough, you are enough.”
The refrain repeats as if trying to stir ourselves out of a dream from which we cannot wake or persuade ourselves of a reality we cannot accept. “You are enough.” We struggle to believe it because the declaration is dissonant with another part of our identity that we know intimately—the shame of our failures, disappointments, mistakes, and sins. The intimacy we have with our shame outweighs the sense of “being enough” unless we find the hope of the gospel, the weight of glory which vastly outweighs our guilt.
When our culture uses the phrase “You are enough,” I think the meaning intended is that we each have inherent value and worth—that our achievements, our mistakes, and what people say or think about us do not define us. Independent of accomplishments, reputation, or foibles, you are enough because you are you, and that is enough. Popular culture has usurped and diluted this idea, which is only partially anchored in Christian thought.
The Bible declares that God fashioned humankind with an identity that no one and nothing can take from us: we were created in the image of God. To bear the imago Dei means that we have an inalienable worth and an invisible dignity because we reflect the One who is of infinite value. (See related article on page 16.) In this manner, human significance is inextricably tied to God’s importance. So, in all reality, God is enough, and we have that hope as the steadfast anchor for our souls. When the secular world borrows the concept without its Anchor, the trope becomes like a ship without moorings, adrift on a stormy sea. Buffeted by our sins and disappointments, the idea that we are enough is capsized, which is why we struggle to accept it. Only the gospel can salvage us from shipwreck.
The complex gospel truth is that, although we bear the image of God, our sin has marred God’s image. However, God so loved the world that He took on flesh and blood, and the wounds which marred the Chosen One have brought many sons and daughters to glory. As image-bearers of God, we are loved, and we have the worth and value we so desperately desire—which our sin cannot take from us. Still, the truth is that we are not enough. There is nothing we can do to attain the right standing with God by our own goodness and effort. We cannot deliver the world from the problem of iniquity that has persisted throughout the generations. We are powerless even to change our own hearts, prone to wander. However, the gospel declares that our Savior is enough. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The weight of this glory outweighs and redeems our shame.
So, if the constant refrain is not convincing you, that’s okay. We are not enough, but that does not mean we have no value or worth. God has given us a dignity that nothing can take from us and has provided a hope of glory that outweighs our shame. God is enough, and our hope is always better placed in Jesus. When we are in Christ, the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us, and that is enough for whatever stormy sea we sail. So, the next time you hear, “You are enough,” simply redirect it as a prayer of gratitude to Jesus and pray, “Jesus, thank You that YOU are enough.”
by Pastor Brad Rogers