While preparing to write “Enough” last week, I did a word study at biblegateway.com For the uninitiated, I mean I looked up Bible verses containing the word “enough.” Something struck me about the use of the word “enough” in the Bible. Things were enough. “It” was enough. People had enough, but nowhere was “enough” applied to a person, either positively or negatively.
So why do some of us apply “enough” to ourselves?
I also looked up “enough” at: m-w.com The short definition of the adjective, the part of speech that modifies nouns, is “equal to what is needed.” The long definition is, “occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations.” Looking at all of the examples, the general gist of it is, this is a word applied to objects—and to people being objectified.
Why do we on any level objectify ourselves by asking whether we are enough? (Instead of asking whether we have enough and asking God to meet our need if we don’t.) Especially women raised in healthy families who are generally well-adjusted. It baffles me, unless the tendency is a throwback to the days when women were chattel. I understand too well when survivors of child abuse (of either gender) struggle with feeling like we’re not enough. Abusers do objectify their victims, treat us like things they own and deserve to have full control over. Abusers seek to be their victims’ gods, though they’re more likely to accuse you of trying to be God than to admit to their self-idolatry and their attempts to get others to idolize them, too,
Before the actual God of Heaven, we are objects but only in metaphor. He is our potter, and we are jars of clay. Let’s be humble about that with God, but let’s also remember we’ve been found worthy to hold a great treasure inside us, the Holy Spirit. We’re created in the image of God, and God established our value on the cross. We were bought with a price, Paul says, and Peter chimes in with what the price of our redemption was: the precious blood of Christ.
Precious. Too valuable and important to be used or wasted carelessly. What was given as payment for us is priceless. When some of us look at our broken lives, it can be hard to imagine us being worth what God paid for “fixer-upers.” Let’s remember Christ can and will fix us up as good as new, has began that good work, and will complete it. God has every right to treat humanity like broken pots to cast into his flaming garbage dump. Instead God offers to make us a beloved bride worth our bridegroom dying to restore us. God also adopts all Christians as sons, makes us all co-heirs with Christ.
Before people, since they aren’t our potter, we are not objects in any way to them, so it’s a red flag when we feel we’re not enough for them. We need to be careful in how we evaluate what is wrong, though. It is possible for us to have a tape in our head playing that says we’re not enough for people without anyone in our life today actually treating us as objects. Due to that, I’d suggest we respond to the red flag by prayerfully asking God to show us if someone is treating us like an object today and ask him how to deal with it if so.
For those of us dealing with a “not enough” message not from a live human, whether it’s from past child abuse, or from living in a culture that often places unrealistic demands on us, let’s close in prayer: (Adapted from Ephesians 3:14-21 NKJV)
Lord, we bow our knees before you, the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. According to the riches of your glory, please grant us to be strengthened with power through your Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. May we be rooted and grounded in love. May we have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to you, Father, who are able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.