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Topic: Promises (02/09/04)
TITLE: Good Enough
By Sherri Fulmer Moorer
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Another defeat. I had applied for a promotion and, despite excellent reviews and qualifications that went above and beyond those required, they found somebody better. All I wanted was an opportunity to advance, and it went to somebody else.
What else is new? I thought. Thereís always somebody better. No matter how good I do, it isnít good enough.
I am going to humble myself and tell you that Iím not the lucky type, at least where employment is concerned. Iíve had three jobs in my entire life, and they were the only three jobs that have been offered to me. I got my first job out of college because nobody else wanted the position. And lest you think I am a slacker, I graduated from high school and college with honors, and every performance review I have had reported above-average performance. Still, something about paying me to work seems to make people balk.
Iím sure all of us could relate to this in some way. The very nature of our lives is competitive, and it seems you have to fight to get anywhere. No matter what you do, you have to beat out countless other people to get ahead Ė be it a better paying job, a nice home, a new car, sometimes you even have to fight for a place in line at the grocery store! No matter where you go, people are vying to get ahead. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner, and while it feels great to be the person on top, you have to remember that it isnít permanent. What goes up must come down, leaving us in the heap mercilessly called ďlosers.Ē
We know itís a tough life, and the competitive nature of the world is a crystal clear indication of how imperfect it is. This vicious cycle is stressful, and if you arenít careful, it will get the best of you. Keep running on the performance/acceptance treadmill of the world, and you will wind out one of two ways Ė depressed or angry. This is no way to live, and you know it.
Fortunately, Christians have a third option. We are told ďdo not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mindĒ (Romans 12:2 RSV). This is a great reminder that Christians are supposed to live by the standards of Godís eternal kingdom while living in this world. I know this seems like a paradox, but the truth is that this world really is not our home. Christ did not come to this world to help us conform to itís sinful ways, but to give us an example of how to live above it. We live in an imperfect world that demonstrates itís imperfections every day in numerous ways. If you have any doubts about that, just look at how Jesus was treated while He lived here. The world rewarded his perfection with crucifixion.
I have come to the conclusion that in order to win in this world, you will always need one more thing than you have. The good news is that we donít have to listen to the world. Christ died for you because He believes you are good enough, and offers us His victory over the world through salvation. Because we are transformed by His truth, we know what really matters in life is not how much we accomplish, but where our heart is while we are doing it. True living isnít about position or salary; itís about serving God and others with your gifts and talents. Sometimes, the biggest payoffs in life donít come in a paycheck Ė they come in reaching out to help others in your own unique way. Although the world may say you arenít good enough, God made you the way you are, and He believes there is nothing wrong with you.
The world is always offering us the illusion of perfection, but it has no power to offer it. In this world, you will win some and lose some, but through Christ you already have the ultimate victory. So jump off the treadmill, and join the ranks of eternity! Believe me, when you live above this world, there is no way you will ever feel like a ďloserĒ again.
I may not have been good enough to get the promotion, but I was good enough for the Lord to strengthen my faith through this rejection, and that is a gift I can be thankful for. Every kind of work is significant in Godís eyes, and when He decides to use you then no power in this world can stop Him. Obviously, the work I am doing still pleases Him and that is good enough for me. And I learned that when you do your work for the Lord, you are always good enough Ė whether the world likes it or not!