Top Ten Tuesday: I is for Insufficient

Top Ten Tuesday: I is for Insufficient

Top Ten Tuesday

The authors of self-help books (and most calligraphers on Pinterest) constantly tell us that we are enough.  We are strong.  We are smart.  We are brave.  We are capable.  We are sufficient within ourselves.

Can I propose that maybe we aren’t enough?

To say that we are enough is to say that we don’t need anyone else.  If we are sufficiently strong, smart, brave, and capable, then we never ask for a helping hand.

Perhaps God made us to be insufficient.  Not only do we need our friends and family, but we also need the constant support of the Lord.  Some of the Bible’s strongest, bravest men admitted to their own God-dependency.

Ten Verses For When You Feel Insufficient

Consider the Apostle Paul.  He was raised as a devout Jew, and he attended formal religious schooling.  He met Christ personally on the road to Damascus.  Yet, he repeatedly expressed his inadequacy in his epistles.

1. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Paul tells his readers that he finds his sufficiency in Christ, not himself.

2. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

3. Colossians 2:10

and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

Paul goes so far as to say that he boasts in his own insufficiency.  He realizes that his weakness shows the power of God.

4. 2 Corinthians 11:30

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

5. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.


6. 1 Corinthians 2:5

so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

7. Philippians 3:3

For we … worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh

Paul was  not the only biblical writer that felt insufficient.

8. Hebrews 11:34

… [they were] made strong out of weakness …

These inadequate writers repeat the idea that Christ’s strength is shown in our weakness.

9. 1 Peter 4:11

whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The incredible truth about our insufficiency is that Christ still chooses to use us for His eternal purpose.  We can confidently come to Him and ask for grace to face the situations which we are inadequate to attempt on our own.

10. Hebrews 4:16

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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