You're Just Not Good Enough

Perry Mason
These are the famous, prosecutorial words that so many of us are familiar with: You're just not good enough.

Or, some variation.

We hear them in the deep, inner-recesses of our hearts every time we have willingly, knowingly, and intentionally engaged in some sinful behavior, big or small.

Or, we hear them every time our broken memories recall some former instance of our rebellion against God.

They're debilitating at times, aren't they?

Turning to Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling, in a chapter by co-authors Bob Kellemen and Dwayne Bond, we're reminded that one of the tactics used by Satan against Christians is "accusing us to ourselves" (200).

Kellemen and Bond want to show us that, in the guilt and shame department, Satan is not productive in slandering us before God, but, "he's more successful with his attempts to convince us that we are contemptible."

Why is this an important issue for Christ-followers to get right? Because, as Kellemen and Bond point out, “Shame separates; sorrow connects.”

Shame and guilt, as weapons of the Enemy, are used to mitigate against the truth that, for those of us who are in Christ, there is no longer any condemnation. This is no call to licentious living, but it’s the essence of the Good News. The accusations of the Enemy concerning our alleged guilt and shame are over-stated.

On the other hand, the Bible teaches us that “godly sorrow” over sin leads us to repentance. In this case, when we experience feelings of sadness or remorse over some sin issue, the Spirit uses these emotions to remind us of God’s holiness, and of the assurance we have of God’s forgiveness because of the shed blood of Christ on the cross.

Kellemen and Bond included a wonderful quote from Martin Luther:

The Deceiver can magnify a little sin for the purpose of causing one to worry, torture, and kill oneself with it. That is why a Christian should learn not to let anyone easily create an evil conscience in him. Rather, let him say, “Let this error and this failing pass away with my other imperfections and sins, which I must include in the article of faith: I believe in the forgiveness of sins, and the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses.”

And, forgive us our trespasses, He will.

In one sense, Satan is right. None of us are "good enough."

But, what he can't seem to get right, is that in Christ, we don't have to be.

In Him, through Him, and by Him, we already are.

Reflection Questions:
  1. How have feelings of guilt and shame invaded your life? 
  2. How have you addressed these feelings biblically?
  3. If you continue to struggle with guilt and shame, feel free to contact me by phone or email. I'd be happy to speak with you about the grace and peace that's yours in Christ.

 Scripture: Zech. 3:1; 2 Cor. 7:10; Rom. 6:1; Rom. 8:1; 1 John 1:9