A few weeks ago our family watched the movie Cool Runnings, based on the true story of the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team. It is a feel-good movie with some memorable lines. We all loved it. One of my favorite lines was something that the coach said to the team captain the night before the competition day in the Olympics.
(**This post contains an affiliate link.**)
He said, “A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.
The coach lets his captain know that, as much as he as a coach wants to win, that his team is “enough” even if they don’t. He is proud to be their coach, and he stands with them regardless of the result.
This is the message of the gospel.
In God’s eyes, even though we fall short of the mark, he values and loves us. It is the gospel of grace.
Let’s be clear. The coach is not saying don’t pursue the gold medal. He wants them to compete for the gold. It is why they are there at the Olympics.
But, he wants them to know that it is not the gold medal that brings worth to who they are, or even worth to who he is as a coach, but that he is proud of them just for competing. He wants them to pursue the gold medal without the pressure of the need to prove themselves.
Apostle Paul writes, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3: 12-14)
We see that Apostle Paul can press on to make the prize of the upward call of God as his own because Christ Jesus has made him His own. The freedom he has found to press on, to strain forward to what lies ahead toward the call of Jesus comes from the security he has found in Jesus.
The truth that Jesus has already made him his own sets Apostle Paul free to forsake all and pursue after the prize of the upward call of God.
When we as Christians have not taken hold of who we are in Jesus, it is easier to fall into the traps of the world. When we grab hold of the incredible significance and life-altering truth that Jesus has made us His own, we will stop looking to other things to give us identity and belonging. For we are secure because God, through Jesus, has declared that we are enough once and for all.
When we have taken hold of this truth that Jesus has made us His own and because of it, we are enough, then we are free to pursue after the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, the gold of the Kingdom of God.
Where are you looking to know that you are enough?
The world tells us to look to our accolades, to our achievements, the success of our ministries, to our popularity, to our looks, to our friendships, and to our contributions to make us feel like we are enough. But, as the coach said, “If you are not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.”
When we began fostering, someone asked me if fostering was the thing that I am going to “be all about?” Honestly, I am not sure exactly what this person was asking. It was such an unexpected question that I think I mumbled something like, “It’s the thing that God has invited me into now, and I’m fully in it. But, who knows if it is what God would have me do next year?”
I realized then that even the good works we do in the name of Jesus, when we look to these things to make us feel like we are “enough,” we can miss the actual gold of knowing Jesus. We do good works because Jesus Christ has made us His own, not because we need it to help validate that we are “enough.”
We are free to freely love and give of ourselves because He first loved us.
How do you know that you are enough?
For those of us who follow Jesus, we know that we are enough because He says that we are in Him. We take in the truth that, because of Jesus’ great love for us, we are loved, valued, worthy, and enough. This truth sets us free.
When we are enough, we can freely pursue God’s gold for our lives and not the world’s gold.
When we are enough, we can celebrate the victories of others.
When we are enough, we can run our races securely, straining forward, “forgetting what is behind and press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
When we are enough, we can accept our limitations gracefully.
When we are enough, we are unafraid to try again.
When we are enough, we know when to say, “It is enough.”
When we are enough, we can help others pursue the upward call of God.
When we are enough, we are free to serve others with no strings attached.
When we are enough, we help others know that they are enough.
When we are enough, we stop searching, striving, and looking to others to validate that we are enough.
When we seek to find our “enoughness” apart from our identity in Jesus…
We make the very gifts and opportunities that Jesus gives us into idols and look to them to feel enough. But, they will not give us what we need.
The temptation of the human heart is to seize our enough apart from Jesus, but when we do, we will only find ourselves lacking.
The good news of Jesus is this:
Through His great sacrifice on the cross and His great power of resurrection, He has made us His own. We are now enough in Him. We don’t need to strive to do good to prove to God or ourselves that we are enough. Instead, we can freely give, freely love, and freely serve as people who are more than enough in Jesus.
Jesus has made us enough by making us His own.
So let this truth set us free to run hard and press onward toward the upward call of God in Jesus.
For Jesus has made us His own.
Therefore, we are enough in Him.
Thanks be to God!