Inadequate was my self perception for a long time. As I look back over my life, I can come up with many instances that I felt this way. Good, but not good enough echoed in my mind. When I was a kid I had these feelings in little league, then varsity basketball and track, and swing choir. Then as I got older I get it in college and my job. Then also as a husband and father. I could go into detail on all of these, but no matter what I did I never felt good enough, and I would withdraw. Then I would find things in my life that would give me gratification. Some of the things were good, but they became idols—my kids, my wife, coaching. I would also find gratification in sin. I would gratify myself through lust, by looking at pornography. It was a vicious cycle. The feelings of inadequacy would cause me to withdraw and find ways to feel better. The problem was that it didn’t last. It was temporary gratification. Then these feeling warped my theology. I felt like I needed to do something good, that I needed to be good to find God’s favor again. The problem was that I always felt like a failure and I would dive back into sin.
A few years ago, my wife and I went to an intense biblical counseling center in Indiana named Twelve Stones. It was there that the counselor challenged my theology and my thought process on my identity. For so long my identity was found in thoughts of inadequacy, which led me into a cycle of wrong theology and sin. It was through the counseling sessions that my thoughts were renewed on my theology and my identity. I AM a child of God. It is because of what Jesus did that I have my identity. It is nothing that I can do.
The past two months and FAILURE, INADEQUATE and NOT GOOD ENOUGH flooded my mind again. The circumstances of my failed marriage was the reason why I fell back into a poor self perception. It has been a struggle. During this time my relationship has be stagnant and stale. I felt I was reading God’s Word out of duty. Just going through the motions. I let the circumstances of my life outweigh the goodness of Jesus.
I woke up on Good Friday and read an article that a friend had posted about the physical events that Jesus went through. Then Friday evening I went to HPC’s service. The lyrics of one of the songs caused tears to roll down my face. “The cup we drink, the bread we eat, reminds us you are all we need. And makes us long for your wedding feast.” My identity is found in Christ Jesus who was pierced, beaten, and sacrificed for my sin. So, when I do think about my true identity…on my own, I will never be good enough. But, in knowing Jesus, and because of my faith and trust in him. I am justified-not condemned, I am sanctified, freed from the power of sin. He welcomes me back with open arms. I AM HIS CHILD. That is my true identity. Right now I need to preach this to myself everyday.