How I Find Adequacy in the Face of Failure

How I Find Adequacy in the Face of Failure.jpg

Sometimes, we carry those weights around that we don’t even know we’re carrying.

 

We bear these burdens every day…over…these issues that we think are minor, but really aren’t.

 

And then eventually, the truth comes out, the answers shed light on why we’ve been thinking and working and living and dying the way we are.

 

This all sounds so vague, I’m sure. Maybe I can explain just a little piece of my heart on this Tuesday morning.

 

Adequacy is a huge deal.

Life is often built on enoughness, on measuring up to standards, on pleasing those above us, on being the absolute best we can be.

 

When it comes to work, to education, anything – it’s about who can do the best in their field, class, or whatever it may be.

 

And oftentimes, we place our value on those things. I often catch myself celebrating my successes as my identity, instead of celebrating that unshakable identity for what it truly is.

 

Again, I’m probably coming off cryptic here.

 

Adequacy is difficult to grasp, because we as humans (and me, especially) want to quantify it, turn it into a grade, or a paycheck, or something with tangible value. Value is something we ascribe, not assume from the beginning.

 

But what if adequacy can be innate?

 

What if it’s enough to accept the identity we have in Christ as WHO WE ARE? Not some name we make for ourselves. Not a face. Not an act. Not a trophy.

 

Christ in us.

 

And look. I’m not saying don’t work hard. To be perfectly honest, accepting identity as firm and unshakable is less of an action and more of a thought process shift.

 

So maybe, instead of intensely celebrating everything we are when we succeed, we bring ourselves to celebrate Christ a little more.

 

See, basing our identity on our accomplishments is all well and good until we mess up. Because then, what of us?

 

Who are we, really, when we make a mess, disappoint, sin over and over again, and see the brokenness inside of us?

 

Christ says we’re still enough.

 

He didn’t die to add to the reputation of the stellar student, the angel child, the top-notch employee. He didn’t die to make us just slightly more improved.

 

He died to make us holy, sanctified, pure. Not better versions of ourselves; new.

 

And so, when we do well, we are adequate. When we do poorly, we are still adequate. And not only are we adequate, but we are complete.

 

In Christ…we are complete.

 

I love the book of Colossians, and I believe that these two passages from chapter 2 sum this entire concept flawlessly.

 

Colossians 2:8-10

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”

 

In Him, we are whole. We are sacred. We are abundantly complete.

 

Even in our imperfection…He has called us forgiven, perfect.

 

Colossians 2:13-14

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

 

We once were dead, and we are now alive.

 

We once stood guilty, and now we do no longer.

 

When we see ourselves as enough because of what we alone have done, we also see ourselves as not enough, in light of our shortcomings.

 

But when we view our identity as a fixed object, an immovable foundation upon which we build our lives and true selves – that’s just how we find true adequacy.

 

See, we can carry around the feeling of being enough by our own merit, but let our lives crumble when we don’t measure up to that standard we set for ourselves.

 

We might not see a difference, on the outside – we can be happy, productive, successful, and believe we’re truly worth something because of all that.

 

But the value that Christ has instilled in us is intrinsic, it is what makes us good enough in this world.

 

As I said a minute ago, seeing adequacy differently like this isn’t always obvious in our lives. It doesn’t always affect how much we work, or what we do, but instead transforms we think.

 

Who are we celebrating for the goodness inside of us?

 

Who are we glorifying with the skills we are given?

 

Who are we praising when things go our way – and when they don’t?

 

Friend, it’s a process, a chance to learn every moment of every day. But it’s so beautiful, this identity – so please, don’t forget who you are.

 

You are loved. You are holy. You are complete. And you are so, so enough.

 

aj

*aj

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5 thoughts on “How I Find Adequacy in the Face of Failure

  1. Wonderful post! How true it is, but how often we forget…especially those of us always trying to become “better” in various aspects of life. I believe that self-improvement is good, as long as we don’t get so wrapped up in it that we forget how great God is and how complete we are in Him. 🙂

    Like

  2. This post really spoke to my heart. It seems like I’ve been struggling with being ‘good enough’ these past few weeks, and I always seem to fall short. But I need to just keep remembering that God loves me no matter what, and that He sees me as perfect…

    Thank you so much for the beautiful reminder!! 😀 Your posts are always a much-needed lift in my day!

    Like

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