“She needed a hero, so that’s what she became.”
“I complete me.”
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”
These and more quotes like these were notes I jotted down in a quotation journal of sorts I maintained while going through my divorce. They sustained me through the heart wrenching process. They were the boat that kept me afloat while my fury of emotions stormed inside me and the waves of life crashed around me. They empowered me to endure. Until they didn’t.
The world worships independence. It’s seen as the ultimate goal. I saw it as the ultimate goal. I thought I could simply be good enough on my own. I didn’t need a man and if I were truly honest I didn’t think I needed God. You don’t have to be going through an ugly divorce to think this way. Many people believe that if their good outweighs their bad, that’s enough: they’re enough. They can get into heaven by living a primarily good life. They can be their hero, complete themselves, and alone be enough.
This is opposite of what true Bible believing Christians preach. Are they too dogmatic in their claims? Surely God wouldn’t cast a “pretty good” person into hell, would he? Why can’t these Christians be more open minded in seeing humanity as primarily good with only a few bad apples? This is the very topic I aim to address with clarity in today’s post.
We’re all damsels in distress.
It boosts our ego to believe that we need no one but ourselves: believe that we are the hero in our own story. It makes us feel good and collected to believe that the good in our lives outweighs the bad. But for me, and I’m willing to bet maybe for some others too, when I got vulnerably honest with myself, I began to realize that I myself could not fill this gaping hole in my life nor could I measure up. I didn’t feel complete on my own. I knew I was lying to myself when I claimed to be enough. And I surely was no hero when the vast majority of my calamities came by my own actions.
The Bible is quite clear on this point: we’re no heros. Instead, we are the damsels in distress. Romans 3:23 states, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We don’t measure up. You may ration, “well I know I’m not God, Rachel, but I’m not that bad either. I still think I am overall good.” Yet, this still holds an error. Jesus himself said in Luke 18:19, “No one is good — except God alone.” You, me, everyone, none of us will ever be “enough.”
It is in our nature to fall short. Every single human who has ever existed from Abraham to Jezebel to Mother Teresa to Hitler are all fallen people. Very rarely can we fill the hole of satisfaction and contentment in our lives. How much less can we, out of our actions and self, work our way to heaven? We can’t. The Bible is clear in the scripture I quoted above and in so many more passages. We all are broken, not enough, and in need of a savior.
We need a hero.
It is both heart wrenching and relieving to realize we are not enough. It bruises our pride to need a savior, yet it bandages the wounds we’ve accumulated by laboring in vain. The Christian faith is marked by humility. We need to admit we need a hero and we are not he.
The verse that follows the first passage in Romans that I quoted above gives an answer to our depravity. Romans 3:24 concludes, “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.” The answer to our sin and fallen nature is Jesus’s redemption. John 14:6 states, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one come to the Father except through me.'” Acts 4:12 backs this up in saying this about Jesus: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Salvation is found in none other than our hero, Jesus the Messiah.
While we ache because we aren’t the solution to our own problems rather the cause of it, we can find rest in that God sent a hero. Jesus lived the perfect life that we should have been required to live to get into heaven. He died the death we deserved to die. And he rose again so that we may not have to remain in death and could have a savior. All we have to do is believe he is who he says he is and trust that he did what we couldn’t. He can be your hero who fully completes you. He is more than enough.
You are not enough. Your good deeds can’t out weight your bad. It’s like putting a drop of arsenic into a glass of water. You wouldn’t think, “the majority of the glass is water so it should be good enough to drink!” One tiny drop taints the whole glass. It’s the same with the sin and brokenness in our lives. One tiny sin ruins it all. It separates us from the Holy God. No matter how much “good” we do, we are still tainted. It will never be enough.
Thankfully its not up to us to save ourselves. There is a God who is longing for relationship with us. He sent his Son to live the life we couldn’t and rise from the death that would consume us. He sent a hero. He drank our glass of arsenic and gave us a glass of pure water. He made a way to heaven that is so simple it almost doesn’t seem possible. We need only believe in him and confess him with our words and life. He is the hero that saves us all.