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  • Writer's pictureZack DeBruyne

Fear of Not Being Enough

Fear of Not Being Enough

  1. What kind of expectations do you have for yourself?

  2. What are ways that you have compared yourself to others -- as a University student, as siblings or friends?

Atelophobia: The fear of never being good enough.

Do you...

  1. Avoid situations where you might make mistakes?

  2. Rather do nothing than do something incorrectly?

  3. Set near impossible standards?

Comparison + Expectation


What do you think is expected of those who claim to be Christian?

  1. We have a number of different beliefs and understandings about this don’t we?

  2. To be a Christian is to obey the rules. Being a Christian is to love our neighbour as ourselves. I am supposed to pray, read scripture, and be an all around good person.

  3. Does this not get overwhelming? Does this not create pressure for us to be perfect?

Key Question: What does God even want from me? How am I supposed to lead a good life of faith?


Read: 2 Corinthians 2:10-12 (NIV)

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

2 Corinthians 2:18 (NIV)

For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

συνίστημι - sunistemi

  • To put together by way of combining and comparing

  • Comparison leads to discontentment -- comparison is the thief of joy.

Comparison + Measuring Up

What if the Christian life wasn’t about comparing, measuring up, or even about Godly expectations?

Proverbs 20:10 - “Differing weights and differing measures—the Lord detests them both.”

  • Scales: In the days of Solomon, silver was weighed on scales balanced against a stone weight. Weights with dishonest labels were used for cheating. Comparison is a dishonest label, too, cheating us out of peace, joy, and contentment.

  • We begin to do things, think things, and become those who live by the desire to be more like others then live into ourselves by faith in Christ.

Why does the ‘Lord detest’ Comparison and Measuring Up?

Exhaustion of Comparison

  • “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly,” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

We will never measure up if we rely on ourselves.

  • Our chronic feeling of not measuring up comes from trying to drink from the wrong fountain: ourselves. No wonder we keep coming away thirsty.

  • A thirst that keeps leaving us depleted tells us the well’s broken and empty. Let anyone who is thirsty go to Jesus and drink.

  • How can I ever ‘be enough’ or lead a life of faith that is enough?

  • Jesus is not looking for workers who measure up; he’s looking for rest-ers who will trust him.

How Christ Sets us Free from Our Fear of Not Being Enough

  • Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent,” John 6:28-29 (ESV).

  • “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water,” John 7:37–38 (ESV)

Never Enough

  • The truth is, that in our own power we will never be enough.

    • In our pursuits of financial security and wealth - will never be enough.

    • Our desire for beauty, or to be compared with others will never be enough.

    • The expectations we have of ourselves to be successful, will never be enough.

    • This world, in all of it’s beauty, will never be enough to fulfill our thirst for more, our longing for more. Only Christ can fulfill our needs fully.

So this is all good and nice, but how does Jesus Christ actually do this?

Dwelling in Christ Jesus

Read John 15:1-11

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

All Things to All People

  • As we remain, rest, abide in Jesus -- we let go of our incessant needs to be like or better than others. We let go of our insane expectations of perfection. We let go of our fear of not being enough and we see that in God’s eyes, we are enough.

  • In fact we are so enough that He sent His Son, to die for our broken messiness.

    • God sees this in us, we need to rest in Him and be reminded ourselves!

  • God doesn’t call us to do it all, nor does he call us to do everything with equal effort and excellence. He calls us to be faithful and obedient to his priorities for us—not to his priorities for anyone else. He calls us to rely on him, not on ourselves. We are not less than others; we are whole and complete in Christ.

You are MORE Than Enough

You Are…

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