Adequate: satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity.
Adequacy: the state or quality of being adequate.
I spent my teenage years, as most do, trying to fulfill these two definitions though others’ opinions of me.
I spent my dating relationship with Austin trying to fulfill these two definitions that he might find me worthy to be his wife.
I spent my engagement trying to fulfill these two definitions to prove to his family that I would be a good choice.
I have spent my marriage trying to fulfill these two definitions that he would never doubt his decision.
I have spent my college career trying to fulfill these two definitions that my friends might believe that I am who I say I am.
I have spent my ministry life trying to fulfill these two definitions that I might be viewed as more sanctified.
All that I might be loved more.
That I might be appreciated fully.
I have spent each of these fleeting moments of time absolutely wrecked under the fact that I cannot fulfill these two definitions. No matter how I try, no matter how I put my best foot forward, I always do something to screw up others’ opinions of me. I always prove myself to be an imperfect and, at times, downright horrible wife. I always find myself hypocritical. I am always reminded of my lack of sanctification.
Before I go any further, I want you to know that my inadequate feelings are warranted. I am not complaining. I am not trying to make you feel sorry for me. I am not looking for a “no, you’re perfect the way you are!” Because I am not.
I would argue and argue with Paul that when he said, “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost, (1 Timothy 1:15 ESV)” that he was forgetting about me.
Today, let us challenge one another that we will never fulfill these two definitions.
We cannot because our Messiah is the only one who is satisfactory and acceptable in quality and quantity.
Walk with me to Colossians 1…
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He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
(Colossians 1:15-23 ESV)
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You who read these words, take heart. The words, “you’re beautiful,” are nice to hear, but they only last until the next time we have a bad day and look in the mirror. The encouragement from our spouses will be forgotten when criticism echoes in our ears. The grade on the paper will soon be forgotten and the ACT and SAT tests will be forgotten the minute you step onto your college campus. Our clothes will go out of style. Our children will grow up and leave. Our families will desert. Our jobs will be lost.
Our adequacies will fade. They will fade quickly.
Then our sin will be left, our pride exposed, our greatest joys turning into our most paralyzing memories.
We will be revealed as alienated, hostile in mind, evil in deed. But, please, Beloved one, take heart! He has overcome all these things. Our greatest weaknesses are his greatest strengths.
When I fall short in my marriage, He is quick to lift me up.
When I look into a mirror, he whispers, “You’re not the world’s to scoff. You’re mine to love.”
He uses my criticisms to highlight his faithfulness to love me anyway.
He is the only one who will never abandon, never leave, never grow weary.
He is adequate.
It’s such a simple concept, something we are told from the time we can understand scripture. Yet I still lay in bed next to my best friend, tears streaming, wondering why I have family that rejects me and my man. She still lays on the floor, tears streaming, wondering why body image still means anything.
It is this feeling of unworthiness that can press us in one of two directions: we can mull in our imperfection or rejoice in His complete perfection.
Cross: the only satisfactory and acceptable grounds for sacrifice.
Grave: the only satisfactory and acceptable means by which this world could hold Him down.
Jesus: The only one who blows our notions of adequacy out of this world and gives us the single most satisfactory and acceptable place in His kingdom.