If I Get it All Together, How Much is Enough?

This post has been featured at JenniferDukesLee.com.

If I get it all together, how much is enough? How much together does it take?

Really, how much is enough? It’s enough to make your head spin right off your neck.

If I get it all together, how much is enough

My friend sits on the front steps, holding the weight of too many burdens on her shoulders.

“I try so hard to be a good mom, but I feel like I’m not doing it right,” she says with a sigh. “I really need to get it all together.”

Why is it when we use the phrase, get-it-all-together, it’s never in a good way?

“Sometimes I’m patient, but then I loose my temper. If I were a better Christian, I wouldn’t get so frustrated at times. I want to be a better mom, but . . . ”

Without words, her body language finishes the sentence that hangs in the air: but I’m not.

 

  • How much more patience does it take to be patient enough?
  • How much more rightness does it take to be righteous enough?
  • How much is enough?

Friend, could it be that these are the wrong questions?

I believe God is more interested in teaching a new way to think rather than better ways to behave. There is freedom from this get-it-all-together insanity.

“. . .and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.–Ephesians 4:23-24

We get hung up on doing things right, but God wants us to know that we are righteous. In Christ, righteousness and holiness is a natural part of who we are.

Choosing to remember we are a new creation is putting on the new self. Being open to God’s transforming work in our mind is part of putting on (living out of) who we are in Christ: righteous and holy.

This is hard because we’re wired to measure value and identity out of how well we perform.

 

So what is righteousness anyway?

Is it just a churchy word that doesn’t seem to relate to real life and real people?

Righteousness is an incredibly practical word.

Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.–Romans 3:24, The Message

In a broad sense, righteousness is defined as the state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God. It includes integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting. (Strong’s 1343).

Righteousness is God setting me right to think, feel, and act like the person He created me to be.

In other words, righteousness is thinking, feeling, and acting like the person God created us to be. As God renews our thinking to the truth, feelings and behavior begin to change.

This is why righteousness is such a practical concept. How we think, act, and feel–that’s where we live every moment of every day.

 

Defining righteousness based on feelings rather than truth.

  • If I feel right,  I must be right.
  • If I feel guilty, I can’t be righteous.
  • If I feel I’m unrighteous, I must be.

And then we start in on the “I’ve got to get it all together” lectures.

 

In reality, righteousness. . .

  • Is a gift from God.
  • Is received rather than achieved.
  • Is who you are not what you do.
  • In Christ, righteousness is your identity by spiritual birth, not behavior.

Getting it all together

and doing all the right things won’t make us righteous.

God isn’t  tapping his holy foot, impatiently waiting for us to finally get it all together. He still sees us as righteous even when we act sinfully or selfishly. (Because that’s who we are, not what we do).

The world definitely doesn’t operate this way.

Some days I feel like I’ve been brainwashed by the world’s system of performance and success. And though I know better, I sometimes find myself trying to be righteous by my own efforts.

That’s when I start to worry about getting it all together.

As if I’ve got something to prove rather than a gift to receive.

Working to be right by my own efforts is really self-righteousness.

“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” –Titus 3:5

As God renews my mind,  I’m learning to let go of the pressure to get it all together and do it all right. Want to join me?

Together we can keep faith fresh with the freedom to stop asking the question, “How much is enough.”

.

Trust God to work in your thoughts, feelings, and actions as you put on the righteousness you have given by God.

 

Linking up at: Monday MinuteCoffee For Your Heart, #Tell His Story,  #PorchStories, and Dance With JesusGrace and Truth.

I’m tickled pink that this post has been featured at #TellHisStory, with Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of The Happiness Dare.

14 Comments

  1. So true that when we think, “I’ve got to get it all together,” we’re in a mindset of proving ourselves. Christ has finished the work and made us righteous in Him! That’s good news. 🙂

    • Ginger Harrington

      Hello Betsy!Just seeing your sweet face pop up in my comments makes me smile.Like I said in the post, I’ve been brainwashed to prove myself, keep up, and too many forms of perfectionism. That feeling of “I’ve got to get it together” is a red flag of independence.

  2. Love, love, love this! Having it all together is a ton of pressure. I have to constantly remind myself that Jesus came because God knew we would never have it all together. That’s part of the beauty of the gospel.

    • Ginger Harrington

      So glad you enjoyed this post, Heather! I think we all need these reminders. So glad you could join me today. Thanks for visiting:)

    • Ginger Harrington

      High praise indeed! To know that you “love, love, love this!” is a sweet glimpse of how God uses the craziness in my brain to encourage others. Blessings!

  3. Righteousness is received not achieved! YES!!! We can never be enough but by the blood of Christ who has granted us His own righteousness! Boy, do I love this post!!

  4. Hi Ginger! You make great points here. I agree, it’s impossible to get it all together, and God knows that too. He wants us to depend on him to lead us on the path of righteousness. Glad to find your link this week at #tellhisstory.

    • Ginger Harrington

      So true, Sarah! Praying God is bringing you great freedom from the get-it-together life of self-effort. Thanks for visiting today!

  5. Debbie Sudrovech

    Very timely with where I am in my life right now. Thank you!

    • Ginger Harrington

      Welcome, Debbie! I think we’re all there right now! We never outgrow our struggle with the flesh. As we grow in Christ, we learn more and more to depend on Him. Thanks for joining the conversation today!

  6. it’s all so exhausting, isn’t it, Ginger … trying to do all this on our own and wishing to be free of the burdens we’ve picked up and carried.

    only in Christ is there freedom. thanks for that gentle reminder this morning.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Yes it can be. Today I am praying about new opportunities that will take a lot of time. I’m trusting God to show me His plan!

  7. So comforting to know it’s received not achieved!
    So glad I stopped for this encouragement!
    Visiting from #TellHisStory

    • Ginger Harrington

      God has really been impressing the holy habit of receiving on my heart. There is so much more than we normally think of to this word. Blessings, Julie, as you receive all God has for you!

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