Women, we are plagued by this lie from very early on in life.
I once taught a sixth grade female student. Let’s call her Anna. She was a sweet-natured young girl of 11 years. She was tall for her age and had the build of a string bean.
Her other teachers and I noticed that she wasn’t eating much of her lunch – for several days in a row. We urged her to eat but saw little change. Then Anna nearly fainted during class, and we promptly contacted her mother.
What had happened? A gaggle of sixth grade girls at school had been comparing how much they weighed. Anna weighed the most, due to her height. She thought that eating less would help her to rise to the top of the totem pole. Anna was twisted into believing the lie that the lightest girls were the most popular, the prettiest, and the most liked.
The message she heard: You are not enough the way that you are right now.
Do you have a similar story?
I was a theatre major in college. During much of my time there, I fell into the trap of comparing myself and my talents with those of others:
"If I could ONLY sing that song the way SHE does, I would have gotten that role…."
"If I were more outgoing and could perform THAT scene in class like HER, the professor would certainly see that I’m destined for professional acting…"
"If I were two sizes thinner, I would be pretty enough to be noticed at auditions like SHE is…."Ladies, we are only setting ourselves up for disaster when comparing ourselves to others becomes a regular activity.
The message I believed: You are not enough to be of any real merit.
You hear it all the time. Commercials telling us what we need to buy in order to have perfect skin. Celebrities and models telling us we have to be a size zero to really succeed in the world. Even our colleges and universities can trick us into thinking that the accumulation of degrees and worldly knowledge is what will fulfill us in life, and that you aren’t worth anything without great academic success. I have also heard plenty of grown women criticizing their peers who chose not to work outside the home after they had children, as if they were not worth anything to the world unless they were contributing to the corporate work-force.
When did this all begin? Where did this come from?
From the book of Genesis (3:1-7). With the first woman who ever lived (Yes, these roots are THAT deep!):
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?" 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’" 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths."
Poor Eve. First woman ever created, and she was told that SHE wasn’t enough.The Devil is so crafty in the way he TWISTS the truth: "You will not surely die! For God knows that when you eat it you will become like him! Surely God is holding out on you! Don’t REALLY believe what he says! You CAN have it all, right now! Wisdom, pleasure, it’s all yours! Just take things into your own hands!"
I was listening to a radio program recently. The ladies from Revive our Hearts ministries were talking about this very thing – how the Devil delivers FALSE messages. This is what they said:
Erin: Then he says, "You can be like God." I think maybe one of the reasons he went to Eve as a woman [is] because that's another way of saying, "What you are isn’t quite enough." And don't we as women all sometimes have that sense? So there’s this moment in Eve’s mind, like, "Maybe I’m not enough. Maybe I need to do or be or say more to be more like God."
Nancy: It was the first sense of inadequacy.
Karen: Or how about this: He comes to Eve, and she's perked up because maybe now she has something her husband doesn't have. So she has one up on her man.
Carolyn: Someone paying a whole lot of attention to her. And can’t that be dangerous?
Mary: Well, it’s very attractive, certainly. Scripture tells us that she was pulled in by it. She didn’t go, "Oh, I’m going to sin." She was just tricked by it. She was led along into the sales pitch, into buying something that she thought looked really great. And she swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.
Ephesians 2: 8-9
"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."TRUTH: We do not have to EARN our way to Heaven by DOING deeds, GAINING more worldly possessions or outwardly LOOKING any certain way. We just need to believe and trust in Jesus!
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song I will praise him."TRUTH: The Lord alone gives us strength and protection. Relationships with men on this Earth can be a true blessing to us and a gift from above, but the Lord is our one, true, first love and joy.
2 Corinthians 5:2
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become
the righteousness of God."BIG TRUTH: We are enough because GOD is enough for us. God brought Jesus to die on the cross so that we may no longer be inadequate. Our sins have been paid in full. We are made WHOLE through Jesus!
I want to end with this fabulous quotation:
"Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! His child, forever, I am".
– Fanny CrosbyAnd by being His CHILD, dear sisters, you are enough.
Dear Lord, Help me to remember that I am enough. You have given me unique talents and abilities that make me uniquely me. I pray that I can use these things to bring glory to your name. I am sorry for the times I have fallen into self-pity by believing that I am not adequate. Thank you for reminding me that I am your child, and that you are my loving Father in Heaven. You have made me enough. Thank you for sending your Son to redeem us.
In what areas of your life have you struggled to believe that you are indeed enough? What truths will you focus on today?