I’ve seen this quote popping up in my feed a lot lately and I’m not feeling it.
A few years ago, I probably would have adored this quote. But now….not so much.
Here’s why: Much about the way this is worded implies that “she” (a symbolic “she” with which all Christian women are invited to identify) “she” is not lovable, is not worthy of forgiveness, and is not good enough to be a child of God. And people…especially women…often accept that as truth.
There was a time when I would have agreed with this quote and not without good reason. God created us, loves us, and forgives us because of who He is. There is nothing we can do to secure our right to exist, earn His love, or deserve His forgiveness. We are a people who found ourselves separated from God by our sin and without any means to close that distance between us, except for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Everything we are and have is because of Him. That is true.
Along the way, however, that truth often becomes twisted:
‘I can’t earn God’s love’ becomes ‘I’m unlovable.’
‘I am a sinner saved by grace’ turns into ‘I’m not good enough.’
‘I can’t earn love or forgiveness’ becomes ‘I am not worthy of love or forgiveness.’
See how that works? Take the truth, twist it just a little, and you’ve got yourself a powerful lie. Typical, and oh so very destructive. That’s how the enemy rolls.
Over the last several months, God’s been speaking to me a lot on this subject. Here’s what I believe He has to say:
You are enough.
You are good.
You are worthy.
You belong here.
You are enough. Just as you are. You are human. THAT is exactly what He created you to be. Are you made in the image of God? Yes. Does He expect you to be God? No. You are human. Limited. Imperfect. You’re dependent on God for the very air you breathe. He created you that way. Ah…but you’re a sinner, you say. Guess what? He saw that coming. And He created you anyway. You will never, no never, no never, BE God. And God is not asking you to be. You will never, no never, no never be able to save yourself. He is not asking you to. God is simply inviting you to be yourself. Be the human being He created you to be. Embrace your position as His beloved creation. A small as you are, as limited as you may be, as human as He created you, you are enough.
You are good. After God created humankind and saw all that He had made, the Bible tells us this: “it was very good”. Not just good. Very good. Was that before the fall? Yes. Was God surprised that Adam and Eve and you and the rest of humanity got yourselves into a hot, sticky mess? No. And He called you good anyway. You, little human, were born with generations of sin imprinted on your soul, wired into your DNA. You, little human, will live and die sinning. And though God sees your sin, He sees YOU first. The YOU He created. His beloved. YOU…your very being…the heart and soul and essence of who you are…YOU are good. Sure, you can’t do a single thing to make yourself good enough, but that’s not because you’re defective…it’s because in your very being you are already all the good you ever need to be. Because He created you.
You are worthy. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of sacrificial love. You are worthy of God’s sacrificial love. This is hard to stomach, right? Sounds almost blasphemous. I suppose that may depend on semantics so let me be clear. You did not, you cannot, earn God’s love and sacrifice. He does not, never will, owe you. But He deems you worthy – valuable, important, deserving – of His sacrificial love. He must! Otherwise, why would He offer it? Would God – who IS love, who is faithful, who is TRUE – sacrifice His son for anything that is less than worthy of such a sacrifice? Could He? Of course not! If He did, what would that say about God? God created you knowing full well the consequences. He saw the road stretching ahead. He knew the cost. And He deemed you worthy of it all. If He didn’t, He wouldn’t have done it. Period. Let that sink in.
You belong here. Simply because you exist. Yes, you have a right to take up space. No matter the circumstances of your birth, your heritage, intelligence, education, financial status, physical abilities, health, appearance, or your contribution to society. You belong here because you ARE here. God is the creator of all life, and that includes your small, limited, fleeting, imperfect human life. So go ahead, sister, and take up space. Breathe that air, brother. Rise up and into the YOU that God created. You belong here. Just remember that the people sitting next to you, those across from you, even the ones standing behind enemy lines – they are just as enough, they are just as good, they are just as worthy, they belong here just as much as you. Because God says so.
Now, don’t you run off panicking or accusing me of saying we don’t need Jesus. Not once have I suggested that we are enough, or good, or worthy, or that we belong, apart from God. In fact, I’ve said the very opposite.
However, I am drawing a distinction – a subtle but significant, and I imagine for some people, a startling distinction. I pray the truth of it pierces your heart as it did mine – renewing, expanding and deepening your understanding of the truth about who you are and the God who loves you:
You see, beloved, imperfect, precious ones, Jesus didn’t suffer and die for you in order to make you enough, make you worthy, make you good, make you belong. Jesus suffered and died for you, gave His everything for you, because to Him you are enough, you are good, you are worthy of His sacrificial love. Because He says so.
And in His heart of hearts, you belong not only here, but to Him. You belong to Him, and He, my friends, He just wants you to come home. Every day. He’s calling you home.
© Nichole Q. Perreault