“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV)
‘Are you enough’ or not?
Have you heard the cheerful declaration—“You are enough!”—that’s often bandied about on the Internet and beyond? Oh, my goodness, I have!
This idea is meant to encourage those who feel unworthy, raising them to a new and uplifted way of thinking about themselves. And I think it’s true, but only in part.
We can’t necessarily declare ourselves as “enough”—in and of ourselves—without first viewing this from God’s perspective.
Who should remain our focus?
Even though as a Christ-follower, I have been adopted into God’s family through my faith, it is actually God’s grace that saves me. This means God is the focus and power behind my salvation (vv. 8-9). He also is the focus and power behind my worth and sense of significance (v. 10). Yours too!
Obviously, it’s hard not to feel a sense of pride and joy in the fact that God calls every Christ-follower—including myself—His “workmanship.” Other translations use words like: handiwork, creation and even masterpiece to describe who and what we are through Christ. That’s pretty heady stuff!
But most scholars agree that this is not so much about God declaring us special—though that’s certainly what He does with our yielded lives! Instead, this is more about Him reminding us that He masterfully designed us, owns us, and is the only One who graciously infuses worth and significance into our lives.
Therefore, we should give God the credit for any good that we do or are, because it is only accomplished through God’s grace and enablement working within and through us. Pretty humbling stuff!
What then should be our purpose?
This passage shares another fascinating fact: God prepared, or some translations say “ordained,” in advance for us to do certain good works in our lifetimes. I take this to mean that not only did God choose every Christ-follower before the world was ever created, He also chose the good works that He would do specifically through each surrendered life.
This is an exciting truth, since it means God is constantly orchestrating the believer’s next opportunity to extend His grace and goodness to others. Just as thrilling, He chose for us to do these good works before the foundation of the world. Pretty mind-blowing stuff!
What does all of this mean for you and me?
If you’re not already a believer, do you long to be adopted into God’s family?
Then simply reach out in faith for His grace and salvation!
Do you struggle to feel worthy or “enough” for others—perhaps even for God?
Then let this truth and inspiring passage sink in … You are His workmanship! Job done AND well done!
Finally, are you listening for God’s promptings to do the good works He always planned for you to do?
Lean in because I’m sure He is whispering in your ear just what His next pre-designed opportunity is for you. Then let His grace and goodness overflow from your life, spilling down and splashing all around on everyone you encounter today.
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I’m a Christ-follower, wife, mother, life-coach and blogger at messymarriage.com. I love helping people grow closer in their relationship to God and others.