I didn’t make the show choir in seventh grade. I wanted so badly to wear the character shoes, shiny black skirts, and blue sequined vests. If you weren’t in show choir you got to wear a horrendous green plaid, itchy skirt with a white long-sleeve button-down blouse. It was the furthest thing from cute. But during my audition, I knew I wasn’t going to make the show choir. Have you ever had a moment like that? You know you’re failing as you’re doing something, but you can’t walk away? I was so off-key during my audition that I distracted myself and forgot the dance moves. It was embarrassing. It was disappointing. And it wasn’t the first time I didn’t make a team (even if it was the show choir team). Thankfully, I survived middle school, itchy choir concerts, and made it into adulthood thriving. The only real reason that audition stands out to me so clearly was that it was the day I surrendered my dreams of Broadway. I’d heard it was hard to make it to Broadway if you can’t carry a tune.
My vivid recollection of that moment may cause you to look at me questioningly when I tell you, I haven’t thought about that audition in such a long time—but it’s true. I only thought about it after a discussion in Bible study with a group of freshman girls.
The lesson was on the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4, when Satan attempts to deceive Jesus into doubting his identity as the Son of God. In our small group, we passed around index cards and asked the girls to honestly (and anonymously) write down the lie Satan uses most often to attack their identity. The common thread linking them all—including adult leaders? “You’re not good enough.”
These girls are high school athletes, cheerleaders, honor roll students, girls cast in The Nutcracker and school plays. These girls are friendly, smart, and fun to be around. I don’t think anyone has actually ever spoken the words, “you’re not good enough” directly to them. No one has spoken those words to me, yet I wrote “not talented enough to be used by God” on my index card. Satan is not creative. I believe that is the front-runner of all lies. “You’re not good enough”— that’s his go-to. And while it’s lazy, it’s effective. We start to hear it when we’re kids, wonder if it’s true when we’re teenagers, and continue to fight it when we’re adults.
It was that Sunday morning when the show choir memory popped up. Because my 7th grade audition is not what I think of when I hear the enemy whisper, trying to coax me into fear and insecurity. The enemy’s words are not usually centered around our failure to make a team, or getting passed over for the promotion, the job, or the call-back. It’s a deep seeded, inner voice convincing us that someone out there knows, despite all of our masks, that we’re not good enough.
But it is a lie.
The enemy knows that if you are a child of God, he cannot touch you. He has no authority to disqualify you from doing the very thing God created you to do. So because he can’t touch you, he attempts to deceive you into doubting your identity as a child of God. When you doubt who you are in Christ, when you doubt God’s calling on your life, you often take yourself out of the game. You assume God can’t use you, or worse, doesn’t want to. So you quit before you even get started.
What chapter in the Bible captures the story of a man who tells God he’d like to confront a world leader and free God’s people from slavery, and God says, “Sorry, you’re not good enough”? Or a woman who asks Jesus if it’s okay if she goes into her village to tell everyone that He is the Messiah, and Jesus says, “Sorry, you’re not good enough.” You won’t find that chapter because it doesn’t exist. Instead, you find the opposite. You find people telling God, “I’m not good enough,” and God saying, “But I am. And I’m choosing you to do this with Me.” You find Jesus befriending, loving, healing, and sharing meals with—especially with—those who believed they were not good enough.
The enemy whispers a lie and without even realizing it, we determine that we’ll never measure up to the lofty picture we’ve painted for ourselves—some worldly standard of success or task that’s too big for us to accomplish. It’s as if we’re a child standing up as straight as possible, only to determine we’re not tall enough to ride the rollercoaster. So we walk away dejected, never hearing the Father calling us, inviting us to join Him on the ride.
But if we look to the One whose opinion matters most, we find strength in our weaknesses, grace in our failures, love despite our unlovable tendencies. We have a new name, a new mission, a new standard of success. We are given affirmation and acceptance. Because of Jesus. Jesus loves you with an unexplainable love that crushes every feeling of inadequacy and replaces it with the fullness of his power.
So, the next time you hear the lie that you’re not good enough, dismiss it and claim the Truth.
The Truth is:
I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I am significant (Philippians 3:20)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:6)
I am a member of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I can never be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39)
I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
I can do all things through Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:13)
I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
I am capable because God is with me (Joshua 1:9)
I have been chosen (John 15:16)
Following Jesus’ example in Matthew 4, we have to combat every lie, every deception the enemy shouts, with Scripture. We have a God that loves us deeply and longs to speak life-giving Truth into our hearts and minds. So instead of comparing ourselves to arbitrary measures of success only to retreat into self-condemnation, let’s rest in who God says we are.
Live today like His opinion of you is the most important one. He proudly says that in Jesus, you are enough. And through Jesus, you can do anything He asks you to do.