We believe incorrectly that the opposite of scarcity is abundance. Thus the continual cycle of buying more, eating more, exercising more, posting more, etc. More certainly describes the American way today, huh?
What a lie. And it is all so exhausting.
This god of Enoughness asks for continual sacrifice from us and it is never enough.
If you want to understand why you are behaving the way you are and thinking that you need more, trace the righteousness in play in your life. You can’t stop working? I’m guessing you equate busyness with worthiness. You are perpetually single and you can’t find someone to measure up to your standards? You are looking for someone to “complete” you. To make you feel like you are enough. (If this is you, find encouragement here.)
Wherever you are most tired, you will find a righteousness at work. The drive to validate your existence. To know if you are loveable. To find a standard of enoughness. And those you choose to hang around—your tribe–need to validate this.
Enoughness is full of self-justification. We want to feel good about ourselves. We want our chosen tribe to like us. To admire us. We want to fit in. We want to know that we are loveable.
So we self-justify by editing our personalities to maximize the approval of other. We exaggerate hardships to make ourselves seem more heroic and others more villainous. We edit our life on social media to be what we wish it was.
This is also exhausting. This is such a hustle.
And deep in our soul we desire to be truly known. To be truly loved.
Righteousness is a religious word. Enoughness and righteousness are actually close synonyms. Both imply a standard of some kind. But righteousness sounds too religious, to pious, too judgey. Righteousness sounds absolute thus it feels authoritarian. So righteousness is not cool. Enoughness is more subjective thus less threatening. But both are spiritual treadmills with Enoughness having a dangerous slipperiness to it with loads of shame.
Why are we so fixed on Enoughness—or righteousness—now over other times of history?
For centuries the Church told us we were okay. Clergy led us to how we might become associated to righteousness. Church provided a place for us to go with our guilt and shame. The freeing message of Jesus says you aren’t good and you are still my tribe.
However scarcity has entered the church too. This is often why people have left the church. If even before you get through the church doors you are already tired because the people inside will let you know that you are not enough, then you are at the wrong church. In this world of scarcity, the laws of Christian faith can be wielded to fill someone’s never-ending enoughness.
And I hate that I had to divert to mention how God’s Church which is a great gift to us can also drive us into scarcity.
Because going to church is so uncool, so unnecessary, this new religion of Enoughness has risen in its place. It has filled the vacuum that our DNA needs. Our DNA screams that it is necessary. But Enoughness is minus the joy of forgiveness and a personally involved Savior. We used to go to church once a week, now we go every hour. Shame of our never-enoughness is the driver every hour.
And the reason why so many women are drinking wine alone at night.
I am very concerned. My heartbeat is to release you from your shame so you can live a brave life. A life where you are known by Jesus and known by your tribe. Shame is a story stealer. Shame sucks your life right out of you.
The message of Jesus is you have a chance to know that you are loved therefore you are worthy and valuable. Romans 5:8 right? But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This is a personal Savior, a God who is for you. Romans 8:31 right? What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
The religion of Enoughness is draining us of all of our energy, goodness, and secured identity which is ours “in Christ.” Do you see it? Do you feel it?
Bonus thought: There are two topics recommended to never talk about over dinner–religion and politics, right? This is because both religion and politics are attempting to make sense of everything. Attempting to “control the story” for the greater population. Since church is no longer a part of our culture, what has risen in its place? Politics have filled that vacuum, right? We need Church to lessen the political talk!
We need church that draws us to a Savior that isn’t ourselves. We need this so badly.
(Even Netflix is telling us that the world needs a Messiah.)
Questions to ask yourself (or your small group because this would be a great discussion):
- How have you thought that “more” of something was going to be an answer to your empty soul?
- What righteousness is in play that is exhausting you?
- How did you feel when you read “Church provided a place for us to go with our guilt and shame.”? Why did you feel that?
- Are you feeling a hunger in you to find a church that speaks the message of Jesus which tells you that you are loved therefore you are worthy and valuable? That Jesus is personal and for you? What can you practically do about this feeling?