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"Tony Robinson is one of the most active church leaders in the United States, greatly in demand as he teaches congregations and denominations about church life. His work has a deep theological underpinning, which many congregational-development gurus don't have."

Fleming Rutledge
author of The Gospel and the New York Times and And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament

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I Am Enough

This is a phrase, "I am enough," that youíre apt to hear in recovery circles. We could dismiss it as trite or silly -- that would be a mistake. Thereís wisdom here, often very hard won wisdom.

Many of us, and I include myself, get the message when growing up that weíre not enough. Thereís something inadequate, not okay, ever shameful about us. This can be a consequence of emotional or physical abuse or the lack of nurturing environment at a crucial age. Somehow, somewhere its as if a malevolent chip has been inserted deep in our being that says, "You are not a good person, you are a bad person; if people really knew you they wouldnít like or accept or love you."

Once that chip is in there sending its toxic signal, we do all sorts of things to try to dull that message, to overcome its relentless and debilitating signal. We may believe that if we achieve a great deal, then we will be enough. Straight Aís in school then in life. We may believe that while others may mess up, we have to be perfect (never mind thatís not in the cards for any human being). For some the chip that declares our defect is answered with drivenness, for others with addictions. These are a way people seek to deaden the chipís power. Addictions turn out, however, to deaden only us.

So to say "I am enough" is not trite or silly. It is to say that at the deepest level I am a good, if imperfect, person and a precious child of God. I donít have to do anything to earn or prove that. It is given; it is grace. At its heart, this is the message of the gospel. By the grace of God you are beloved, you are enough.

Though this is the gospel, religion has often turned the Christian faith into but another form of "you are not enough." You are not good enough, noble enough, generous enough, busy enough, selfless enough. You must do more. You must be more.

No! You are enough. I am enough. From this foundational truth we grow and give of ourselves not in fear but in gratitude. Internalizing this deep truth does requires daily practice and self-awareness. Re-wiring ainít easy. But by the grace of God it happens. The malevolent chip loses its power. "I am enough" is the truth that frees, frees us and makes us truly available for relationship with others.

 

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