Seriously, God, you want me to do what? Have you forgotten about my past? Or that I don’t have the right skill set? I’m not good enough.
Have you ever had a conversation like this with God? Many of us have and we aren’t the first nor the last.
We often approach assignments from God as if it all depends on us to be a success. But that is far from the truth.
We can learn from Bible characters who said, “I’m not good enough” and how God still used them. You see, nothing is impossible with God.
Reasons you might feel “I’m not good enough”
Almost all of us have had backgrounds that could cause us to think, “I’m not good enough.”
- Guilt over past actions, thoughts, or feelings
- Feeling damaged by things others have done to us
- Demanding parents who always expected more regardless of how hard we were trying
- Not making the team, not getting a lead part in a drama or a host of other things we had hoped for
- Not being married by a certain age
- When a spouse or significant other leaves you
Please notice I said, “COULD cause us to think, “I’m not good enough.”
Unfortunately, we as humans are bombarded with lies from satan about our value and worth. His goal is to make us think and feel, “I’m not good enough.”
And when we believe these lies, it sets us up for a miserable existence. It often will keep us from experiencing the good plans that God has for us.
Bible characters who felt “I’m not good enough”
If you know anything about the Bible, you know that Moses, Isaiah, and Gideon were great heroes of the faith.
But did you know that they struggled with feelings of inadequacy? While their reasons were different, each said, “I’m not good enough.”
Moses is known for
- Helping the nation of Israel escape Egyptian slavery
- Receiving the 10 commandments from God
- Leading Israel through a harsh desert to their promised land
That is a pretty impressive leadership role. But it didn’t start that way.
Moses felt totally inadequate. He argued with God about feeling “I’m not good enough.” Listen to the conversation between him and God.
“But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.’ But he said, ‘Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.’ ” Exodus 4:10-13
I can relate to Moses. I get tongue-tied easily and forget what I want to say. I definitely am “not eloquent of speech.” Yet God can use anyone He calls regardless of their abilities.
Isaiah was a prophet who had an important job pointing his people back to God. His writings, especially in chapter 53, are quoted from or referred to 85 times in the New Testament.
“Isaiah is the Shakespeare of the prophets, and the St. Paul of the Old Testament. This marvelous manuscript has been regarded almost universally as by far the greatest and grandest treatise on the most important subject in the history of writing – Christ and his salvation” (1)
Isaiah was a man of God. BUT he too said, “I’m not good enough” for God to use as a messenger. Listen to what he told God.
“And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips … ” Isaiah 6:5 ESV
God can use us despite our sin when we are willing to humble ourselves and confess our wrongs.
Through Isaiah’s writings, we learn of our need for a Savior (sin), and God’s plan to restore our relationship to Himself.
Gideon was known as a great soldier and became the commander of Israel’s army against the Midianites who had taken over Israel.
But Gideon doubted his capabilities because of “low social status” and hid from their enemies. Listen to his conversation with God.
“And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” And he (Gideon) said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” Judges 6:14-15 (Explanation added)
Bible Characters who knew they weren’t good enough
There is a difference between feeling “I’m not good enough”, and being a total outcast of society because of your reputation. These two ladies were rejects. Yet God used them.
Rahab of Jerico
Rahab was a prostitute. Her social status was the lowest of the low. While she must have thought, “I’m not good enough”, she has a remarkable story.
Jerico was a pagan city and part of a pagan nation. They did not believe in the true God and did not worship Him.
Even without the internet and cell phones, Rahab had heard that the God of Israel caused many miracles to happen for them.
When two spies from Israel needed a place to hide, Rahab was the one who gave them refuge. Her bravery stemmed from her newfound faith in the God of Israel.
Did it matter to God that Rahab had been a prostitute? No. Rahab’s life changed and she became part of the genealogy of Jesus.
You can read Rahab’s story in Joshua chapter 2, Matthew 1:5, and Hebrews 11:31.
The woman of Samaria
This poor lady was also rejected by society. She had been married multiple times and just did not fit in. I wonder how often she must have thought, “I’m not good enough.”
She was forced to get water from the town well during the hottest part of the day because other women did not want to associate with her.
But that was about to change when she had an encounter with Jesus. Ultimately, she became the first missionary for the Gospel.
You can read her story in John 4:5-30.
How to stop feeling like “I’m not good enough”
So did you relate to Moses, Isaish, Gideon, Rahab, or the woman of Samaria and the reasons they felt like “I’m not good enough?” Or are there other lies you believe?
Most of us have come to have erroneous thinking over a period of time. These thought patterns are habits that will take time to change.
But let me assure you that we don’t have to be held captive by our thoughts and feelings.
Our hope for confidence and success is found in Jesus and the power of the Gospel. Here are some steps to help get you started.
- Make sure you are a follower of Jesus
- Identify the lies that you believe
- Challenge the lies every time you think of them
- Have friends that are a good support group
1. Make sure you are a follower of Jesus
This is your starting point and the most important step.
If you don’t know Jesus, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can text, call, or chat with them online any time of the day or night.
For further reading check out “Christian Faith For Beginners.”
2. Identify the lies that you believe
The Bible tells us that satan is the father of lies. Yet they will seem so real we can easily believe them.
Our enemy wants us to think that we are inadequate and lacking in many ways which is far from the truth. We are wonderfully made by God our creator.
God has given us everything we need to accomplish all that He has for us to do. And when we are weak, He will make up the difference.
3. Challenge the lies every time you think of them
Remember. This will be a process because the lies we believe are now habits that need to be corrected little by little.
But it will never work if we don’t replace wrong thoughts with the truth.
“Biblical Affirmations – Telling Yourself The Truth” is a 30-day online Bible study identifying lies and replacing them with truth from the Bible. Besides the online version, there are other resources to go with this Bible Study if you want them.
4. Have friends that are a good support group
Where can you find Godly friends who will support you in your journey to replace lies with the truth and who have already begun this same journey themselves?
You will find them in churches that believe that salvation is in Christ alone, through faith alone, and by grace alone. They use the Bible and the teachings of Jesus as their sole curriculum.
Traditions and “new revelations to individuals” are not part of God’s plan. He gave us all we need to know in the Bible for living a successful life and to banish feelings of “I’m not good enough.”
You might also like to read:
- Willmington, Harold L., “What You Need to Know About the Book of Isaiah” (2009). What You Need to Know About…. Paper 52.
- Bible Gateway – English Standard Version of the Bible.