Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you try, you’re just not good enough? Someone or something is always reminding you that you just don’t measure up, and it’s like your mistakes and failures are all you can see? It’s like being on a giant hamster wheel. You’re running as fast and furious as you can, but you’re getting absolutely nowhere.

I don’t think the Israelites felt much differently. God gave them 613 laws they had to follow perfectly to be righteous before him. Just let that number sink in for a minute. 6-1-3. It was impossible to follow that many laws perfectly, and I can just imagine them jumping on that same hamster wheel that we jump on. Always trying harder but never measuring up.

They couldn’t live perfectly any more than we can. And God knew that. That’s why he sent Jesus.

We get stuck on that hamster wheel because our sin and shame hold us there. I try to be good enough, I mess it up, I feel worse about myself, so I try harder to be good enough. The screw ups and the shame that come from them keep me running harder and harder on that wheel. It never ends.

Well, I can’t make it end. But Jesus can.

The only way to get off that hamster wheel is to let Jesus take you off of it. He can free you from the constant cycle of not being good enough because he was good enough for you. He lived a perfect life and died a perfect death in our place. He took on every sin, every mistake, every shortcoming, and paid the price for us. It’s pretty overwhelming when I really stop and think about the reality of it.

He obviously thinks we’re good enough, or he never would’ve done that for us.

Accepting that changes everything. I can live in response to the ways I constantly fall short. Or, I can live in response to Jesus’ overwhelming love and acceptance of me.

To live my life knowing that I’m that loved and that accepted and that forgiven is the only thing that will take me off that hamster wheel.

That kind of freedom only comes from Jesus.

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