When I was five years old, my father left and never came back. Ever since, an urgent, demanding question has flashed in glaring red letters on the walls of my heart: ARE YOU GOOD ENOUGH?
For so long, the answer to this question was simple: No way. I’m not good enough. Every day my father chose not to return, that self-evaluation set like concrete, creating an increasing sense of inadequacy. I have often whispered to myself, in the quiet of my soul, that I will never be good enough for anyone, for any purpose, under any circumstances.
I think everyone faces some version of the same question: Am I good enough? Do I measure up? These questions and the varied answers that spring into one’s consciousness comprise the driving forces of our decision-making, our thoughts, our relationships, our actions, and naturally, our understanding of self.
“You have been weighed on the balance and found deficient” (Daniel 5:27). The writing on the wall may have been directed at Belshazzar, but Daniel’s interpretation feels personal.
But I have something Belshazzar did not. Notice Daniel’s insight in verse 23 when he tells the king, “You have not glorified the God who holds your life-breath in his hand and who controls the whole course of your life.” What Belshazzar lacks is reverence for the one true God; it’s his failure to acknowledge the supremacy of the Lord that renders him inadequate.
God’s expectation for human beings is perfect holiness (1Peter 1:16), and through the lens of my own lifelong battle with self-worth, I recognize that I fall far short of perfect holiness. At my worst, I am self-absorbed, obsessed with avoiding pain, and addicted to pleasure and comfort. If being “good enough” for myself has been difficult, then being good enough for God on my own merits is impossible.
However, there is something new in me that refutes the slanderous voices within. My faith in Jesus—a gift from God, not something I earned for myself—allows me to stand at peace with God (Romans 5:1). Because of Jesus, God sees me as holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4). I am no longer a little boy who wasn’t good enough for his earthly father; I am an adopted son whom God is pleased to call His own (v.5).
As a son of the King, I glorify God and trust Him as He directs the course of my life. No longer am I bound in the mire of self-loathing. Instead, I humble myself before God, confident that in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 63:7–8) my heart can soar to the heights of heaven. Because of Jesus, I discover that I am good enough—not because of what I’ve done or haven’t done, not because of who I am or who I am not. I am counted as treasured and prized (1Peter 2:9) because of who He is and what He has done for me.
Written by Alex Florez