There seems to be a trend nowadays to comfort and encourage people, telling them that what they’re doing is “good enough”.
- You park your car an extra hundred metres from the shop to maximise your exercise opportunities? Good for you. That should be good enough.
- You avoid most fatty foods and only eat take out once a week? Well done! That can be hard.
- You spend at least half an hour every evening reading bed time stories to your kids? Excellent – they know you love them.
These things are all good and we all should be doing them. They will contribute to our health and that of our family in meaningful ways.
But are they enough?
Well, most people would (and do) say “yes, more than enough. You’re doing the best you can with what you have.” And maybe that’s true. But does that make it good enough?
For some time I’ve had an uneasy feeling that it really isn’t enough. In fact, I find myself praying for more time with my kids, a better attitude to my work, and a kinder tongue when I speak to my husband. Certainly, these prayers do not speak of a life of being “good enough”.
There is always, always room to improve.
That’s why I found it so refreshing recently to read this post by Sarah Mae. She gently and clearly explains that sometimes, no matter the circumstances, excuses or reasons, we get it wrong. Yes, it’s true that we do. Yes, we know this. Yes, everyone makes mistakes – all the time. Does that make it okay?
More importantly, should that make it okay?
Just because the default human result is failure, does that make failure acceptable?
I don’t think so. I am reminded of Paul’s words when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). If we believe the truth of this verse then we believe that we can truly be Good Enough, because Christ strengthens us to be so. And if that is true (and we know it is), then we should be trying with all that we have and all that we are to be, truly, Good Enough. Not because we are saved by our good deeds, but because it is our “reasonable service” (Rom 12:1-2) – the least we can do is to be the best we can possibly be – not just the best society says we can get away with.