Celebrating Enough

I’m not interested in a Christian message that says you’re worthless or one that says God’s plan for you is to be the next American Idol. They both seem damaging to human relationships, both caught in an economy of comparison & competition. I think the Christian message is that you’re enough & that we are called to love each other as human beings, not as people who accomplish, or do not accomplish, well, anything.

In the first message, where we are deemed worthless, we compare ourselves to others and find that we are not good enough. We are told that God has a better plan for us, that if we follow his guidelines, we will be winners, not losers.

In the second message, where we are destined for great things, we compare ourselves to others and find that we have won. We thank God for our win even though our thankfulness implies God is behind everyone else’s loss (see above).

So, when I win, God made me win and therefore God wanted everyone else to lose. Which means, when I lose, I’m not good enough for God to make win.

This cycle is endless. Every person who thanks God for a win is implicating God in the pain and loss of others. My belief is that the message of Christianity is not contained in individual accomplishment at all, but in the connections and relationships between individuals. That is, it’s not a question of winners or losers, it’s about playing a different game altogether.

Or, to put it more bluntly, I honestly don’t think God gives a shit about our accomplishments. He doesn’t care who wins the Super Bowl or the little league championship, who gets the raise and who successfully starts their own business. Against the backdrop of embrace, belonging, exclusion, and shame, I think our accomplishments are white noise, a figment of the American imagination, used more often to use people in the name of God than to support them.

The key word in this new economy is “enough.”

Enough calls us to love ourselves.

Enough calls us to love each other as human beings, not as people who accomplish.

Enough calls us to love greatly, not to be great.

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3 responses to “Celebrating Enough

  1. I try not to be in the business of declaring how God feels about any given topic, but it would seem this is not simply a two-sided coin. What if God cares about who wins the Super Bowl infinitely more than I do? What if he cares about who loses American Idol infinitely more than I do? To determine that, because God is not in the business of heightening some at the expense of others, he does not care one way or another might underestimate him. When I read the scriptures I see a God who cares infinitely about his own glory; his own exaltation. It is a glory that is so great that it can be found greater than all human victories and deeper than all human defeat. It shouldn’t matter to us where we land on that spectrum, but it matters exponentially to him because as the author of all history and he seeks his own glory in all things. Every story, no matter how our selfish motivations attempt to manipulate God’s will, has at its core the utmost concern of God for us and for himself. He cares about it all far more than I ever could. Could this possibly be another way of thinking of this?

    • Absolutely. Good addition Sean! I like this. I think the outcome might be the same but the approach much more positive!

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