One of my best friends held the longest list I had ever created—119 flaws I had compiled about myself—and held a lit match to it. As I watched, relief flooded my chest. The flames devoured the edges of the paper, turning all my sins and imperfections to ash.
Before I became a Christian, I was afraid of me. My inadequacies taunted me day and night. It seemed nothing I did would ever be good enough for God. Something was missing from my life—I knew that—but I stayed away from Him. God couldn’t possibly love me, I reasoned. If He really saw everything I did—if He really knew my heart—He could not.
So I wrote down everything that was wrong with me and made a resolution to get to work on my list, fixing every inadequacy and moral failure I’d written down. At the time, I didn’t know I had fallen for a lie, but I eventually learned the truth: Once we accept that we cannot live this life in our own strength, we no longer have to. Jesus is the only One who can save us. When we put our faith in Him, He takes our burdens, so we no longer have to carry them.
Shortly after accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, I began to see evidence of His work in my life. I no longer felt the weight of my past. I also began to see God’s hand in my life for what it was—and I gave God all the glory. Friends, family members, and teammates started asking about the changes they saw in my attitude. I was different because I was no longer striving to be something I could never be.
We will never be perfect—and God doesn’t expect us to be. Instead, He wants us to trust Him and to give Him our daily struggles. When we draw near to Christ, He is able to consume our inadequacies, leaving us free to embrace His work in our lives and to rest in His love.
Dr. Stanley explains what we can do when we feel like we’re failing at life in his series Understanding Inadequacy.