The Pervasive Disease of “Not Enough”


This week I did a written lesson online for my life planning group. One of the questions asked, “What makes you angry?” Great question. I don’t get angry often. Disrespect can get me pretty darn mad. Someone who refuses to listen to wise counsel ruffles my feathers. Various kinds of injustice really get me going. The number one thing that makes me angry, though, is when people feel “less than” for whatever reason.

Now, let me clarify. I’m not angry with the individual. I feel furious at whatever situation or circumstance that caused them to have that feeling. Whether it be abuse, abandonment, a dysfunctional family upbringing, thoughtlessness, society’s standards, etc., I feel a desperate need to breathe life into that person. In my mind, we are all worthy, useful, and valuable.

I often wonder why I feel okay with who I am. In a world where so many people, especially women, are saying they don’t feel “enough,” I question why I shrug my shoulders and say, “I know I’m not, but so what?”

Don’t misunderstand me. There are plenty of things about myself that drive me crazy that I would love to change. I wish I didn’t get so anxious when I am preparing to have people over to my home. I would love to walk into a room full of strangers and feel completely comfortable. I would love to be more athletic. I definitely wish I could be more organized (I say as there are ridiculous piles around me in my office). My list could be quite long.

However, if some of these were to change, I wouldn’t be me any longer. There are opposite qualities to these characteristics that are also positive. For example, I get exhausted going to an event and being around a bunch of people (strangers or otherwise) due to my introversion. However, without being an introvert, I might not be as good of a listener. I wouldn’t think such deep thoughts, and those thoughts help me to teach, write and offer counsel to people. I would hate to lose those things.

I want to share two verses with you. First of all, 1 Timothy 6:6 says, “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” The other verse is 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

So, the bottom line is this: when we respect God, and realize we have been given the necessities of life, we will experience gain. Additionally, the Bible tells us God’s power has given us the ability to accomplish this simply by knowing him. No striving is necessary.

I know I’m not “enough,” and I never will be. However, I believe God’s promises. My job is simply to be who He created me to be.

I could run around trying to imitate everyone else around me and beat myself up for constantly missing the mark, or I can rest in this: “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:4. I’d rather chase something I can actually catch.

Changing those negative voices you hear in your head isn’t a simple task. I don’t mean for this to sound easy. I know. I’ve fought the battle. In my early twenties I felt terrible about myself for a time. However, constantly filling our minds with positive messages like the previous scriptures can make a world of difference in increasing our contentment with ourselves.

What lies do you struggle with?

Further reading:

Book: Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick


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