This is the first post in a series on our inadequacy. Read the others here.
“Hi, I’m Greg, and I am inadequate.”
We all want to be seen as people who have it together. We set goals and meet them, surpass them even. We use every spare scrap of time to be incredibly productive and we enjoy every second of it. That’s the kind of people we want to be and, because of that, often how we present ourselves to the world.
Working hard is good. Being productive is good. Surpassing goals is good. But why do we care so much to be seen this way? Maybe you don’t care that much about it, but I bet at least part of you does. I know I do. I want to be seen as knowledgeable, helpful, someone who works hard and does amazing things. Why do I care about this so much?
I recognise that publishing a blog online automatically enters into the space of our curated selves. We want to show the best of ourselves all the time, like some eternal first date. And just like many first dates, these social media half-selves don’t offer much depth. Now this isn’t some kind of “social media is the devil” kind of post. That’s what social media is for: showing the best parts of our lives. I’m curious about this question: why do we care so much about it? Have you ever wondered why social media works so well? Why we’re obsessed with showing our best all the time?
It’s easy to show others my experiences as a productive life-loving uber beast on social media. But I know that’s just one slice, one sliver of a slice, in the messed up chaos that is my life.
I don’t have it all together. And you don’t either. And the good news is that you don’t have to. There is a gloriously freeing word that we ought to be happy to characterise ourselves with. A word we try to ignore then try to cover up whenever it makes itself known: inadequate.
This next series of posts will be about a few areas of our inadequacy and why I believe it’s a gloriously freeing thing.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could be okay with not having it all together? And, more than that, if we wouldn’t have to resign to depression or grit our teeth and try harder? For us to actually rest in where we are…and be joyful about it? I would love for that to be true. And it can be true. That’s where Jesus’ words in Luke 10 come in and teach us. It illuminates some specific areas of our inadequacy and offers hope and joy.
In Luke 10.1-24 (you can read it here), there’s the story of 72 workers that Jesus sent out. He sent them out, woefully under-resourced, in groups of two to different towns ahead of where He planned to go. They talked about Jesus and what living in response to Him can look like. They healed people who received these words, and warned those who rejected them. They even had control over the spiritual world. They came back, amazed at their experiences (as anyone would be!). Then Jesus told them don’t first find your joy in what you do for me, find it in the fact that you have been found by God and your life is hid in Him.
If we want to be freed from covering up our inadequacy, we first need to be better acquainted with it. In the next series of posts, we’ll tackle how this story teaches us about specific areas of our inadequacy. I hope you’ll join me!