Sometimes we speak this lie to the one we are looking at in the mirror. Sometimes we perpetuate the lie in the way we communicate to our spouse and/or children. Teachers, administrators, mentors, music directors and coaches are often guilty of the spreading the lie.
Here is the lie. “You’re not enough.” The lie comes in various forms: you’re not smart enough, strong enough, attractive enough, successful enough or gifted enough. The lie breeds insecurity and fear because it breaks us down causing us to feel less than. You’re less than attractive, less than smart, less than successful, less than fun to be around and so on.
The other day, a plumber, accompanied by a young man, came to our house to fix the water heater. The young man retrieved tools from the truck, carried larger items and did whatever else the older plumber needed done. I was taken aback by the way the plumber spoke to his apprentice. He poked fun at him, insulted him and barked orders at him. The younger man’s demeanor showed that he was beaten down and disappointed. He gazed down at the floor the entire time, wore a frown on his face and made it evident he wanted to be anywhere but with this plumber.
What I saw in the apprentice’s eyes and posture that day is a good microcosm, I think, of what many feel today. Many people are beaten down, frustrated and hurting. For whatever reason, they’ve come to believe that they’re not enough. They’re uncomfortable in their own skin and would crawl out of it if provided the chance.
I’ve been there. I’ve felt like I wasn’t smart enough or articulate enough or creative enough. I’ve believed the lie.
Here’s the truth. With God, we are enough. The Apostle Paul wrote, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 8:37-39. Paul says we are “more than conquerors” through Jesus; talk about an incredible identity marker.
So, it goes like this. The lie – you are unattractive; the truth – you are a beautiful child of God. The lie – you are a failure; the truth – with God, you can accomplish great things. The lie – you are a burden; the truth – you were wonderfully designed to fulfill an incredible purpose in this world.
If I had the chance to rewind the tape to the other day when the plumber and his helper came to our house, this time I would do my best to engage the young man in conversation. And, hopefully, I would speak some truth into that young man’s life. He’s loved and cherished by His Creator who sent His Son to die for Him.
I challenge you this week to speak truth into someone’s life. Share with your spouse specific reasons you love him or her. Tell your children that God deeply loves them and you do, too. See your co-workers not simply as people with whom you work but as image-bearers of the Creator of the universe. Speak truth to others and to yourself. It’s through truth speaking that we can snuff out the lies. You are enough, because God is enough. Enough said.
Rob Long is the preaching minister at Maple Hill Church of Christ in Lebanon. Preacher’s Corner features a new local preacher each month who writes a column.