By Gena Barnhill @BarnhillGena
Lie: I’m not good enough.
Truth: I am good enough because I am in Christ, and Christ dwells in me. My sufficiency is from the Lord, not from me (John 14:20 and 2 Corinthians 3:5).
I loved the Lord and worked hard to please Him during my young and middle adult years, until I learned striving was not His desire for me. Living with a performance-based mindset had resulted in excellent grades, advanced degrees, and outstanding work evaluations. Therefore, I applied that same mindset to my relationship with the Lord. I had worked tirelessly to earn His love, approval, and acceptance—unaware He had already freely given them to me, and I was good enough in His Eyes. When did I start believing the lie I needed to strive to be good enough?Overcoming the Lie “I’m Not Good Enough” and Embracing How God Sees You: The Lies We Tell Ourselves Series Click To Tweet
While sitting in her living room chair, my mother’s downward gaze, drooping eyebrows, and pursed lips suggested I had done it again. I sat on the floor looking up at her as she shook her head. I must have disappointed her again. Resting my head on her lap, I said I was sorry and promised to do better next time. “That’s not enough,” my mother said. As an eight-year-old child, I had no idea what behavior she expected at that point. What constituted enough? She did not say I was not good enough, only my apology and promise were not enough. Years later I wondered if that was when I first misinterpreted what I heard and generalized her response to mean I was not good enough. The Lord later revealed this lie took root earlier in my life.
In training to become a healing prayer minister decades later, I learned I had lived with an orphan mindset, continually seeking approval from others and God, and never feeling like I was good enough. This pattern of behavior had been practiced and ingrained for over four decades. I asked the Lord’s forgiveness for accepting this lifestyle and His help to rest in Him and stop striving. I wanted to know when I first believed I was not good enough, so I could renounce this lie and break it off at the root. During my quiet time with the Lord in the fall of 2018, I asked Him to reveal when I accepted an orphan mindset and believed I was not good enough. I journaled His response.
I sensed the Lord say,
“Gena, my precious daughter, I want to heal your heart. I want to take you back to when you realized something was not as it should be. Your family recognized that you were different, and they were afraid of you. They were feeling threatened and blamed you for their feelings instead of turning to Me to reveal what was happening. At an early age, you made a vow that you would and needed to take care of yourself. A knife pierced your heart later when your mother told you several times that she did not realize you had needs as a child, but she knew your brothers had needs and focused on them. You are not worthless. You are worthy of being nurtured and cared for.”
I had generalized my striving behavior that won accolades at school and my jobs to all environments and relationships, including God. By believing I had to take care of myself, I mistakenly thought I was in control of my life. If only I tried harder, God and others would be pleased with me. Once I believed I needed to exert more effort, I went back to striving—another erroneous belief.
Unlike my parents’ sometimes vague expectations, God gave us clear directions for what we need to do. Although I had participated in Bible studies, I had not taken into my heart the Lord’s words in the Scriptures. His words were head knowledge but not heart knowledge to me.
Now I know when we accept Jesus, He is with us and will never leave us. We are good enough because He removed our sins and mistakes when we confessed them. Our sufficiency comes from God, not from our efforts and striving. The Lord does not condemn us and is not holding our sins against us once we confess and repent.
Jesus promised that He would not abandon us when the world would see Him no more. He said Father God would send the Holy Spirit, the Helper, in His name. In John 14:20, Jesus said, “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” Christ dwells in me.
Apostle Paul declared the following truths:
“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1–2).
God accepts my imperfections. When He looks at me, and at you, He sees the perfection of His son, Jesus. He sees us not as we are, but as we are becoming—not as I am and not as you are, but more like Him.
Later in my journaling time that fall day in 2018, the Lord told me He restored what the enemy had stolen when I believed lies. He said He was a redeemer and had been preparing me for ministry. I am secure in who I am in Christ. He removed the daggers in my heart from words spoken over me and words I had misinterpreted. He can do the same for you. Ask Him.
The acrostic for GOOD may help you remember how the Lord sees you.
G—God’s Precious Child: God surrounds His children with unconditional love. You are His beloved child, accepted and cherished.
O—Overcomer is your identity: As a believer, the Lord has given you the power to break free from the lie you are not good enough.
O—Offered Forgiveness: Through Jesus, we are promised forgiveness when we repent. We are no longer bound by the chains of past mistakes.
D—Delighted in by God: You were fearfully and wonderfully designed by God, as it is written in Psalm 139. He planned you before creation and knows everything about you.
Remember, the truth is that you are good enough because Christ dwells in you. Your sufficiency comes from God, not from your efforts. Embrace your identity in Him and live with the confidence that you are loved, accepted, and more than enough.
Now it is your turn. Have you believed that you were not good enough? Which scriptures will you seek to support God’s view about you?
Be sure to leave your thoughts on our Facebook Group Healing Prayer Discussion.