Delusions Of Adequacy

Too many people suffer from delusions of adequacy. The sad part is they don’t even know it! Are you one of them? Here are two ways to find out!

Test #1 That You Have Delusions of Adequacy
Do you feel too guilty to enjoy God’s presence after you’ve already confessed your wrong to him? In other words, do you believe that your other sins weren’t so bad, but this new one is just too much for God to handle?

If so, you vastly underestimate the love and grace of our God who forgives sin. You also vastly downplay how bad your prior sins were. God is not just loving. God is holy. God is King.

Your Righteousness is Filthy Rags
Imagine that you are ordered to appear before the King of England. To prepare for the meeting you don your finest clothes, get a fancy haircut and do whatever you can to look good before His royal majesty.

But just before you arrive at the palace gates, you stumble into a pile of pig slop! Suddenly you’re filthy. And you’re rightfully ashamed of it. You know you are in no condition to stand before the King. But it’s too late. The King has arrived and he sees you.

Now is your chance to make a good impression. So while covered in slop, you tell him “Look O king, it’s not as bad as you think. Just look at my clean fingernails!” At that moment, you fall to the ground in a dizzy spell and even your fingernails are in the slop.

Will the King care either way about your nails? The king sees you in slop. How will your white fingernails change anything?

But what if I change the facts a bit. You’re still covered in slop. But suddenly the king learns something astounding. In the palace court, his advisors inform him that in spite of your filthy appearance, you are the king’s only son!

At that point, the king ignores the slop, ignores the clean fingernails and grabs you in a big hug. You are his heir. You are his chosen. Your dirt is no longer an issue. For you are the son of the King!

Yes, when you sin, it’s bad. And when you sin big it’s worse. But even at your best, you are covered in pig slop. You cannot become clean by your own efforts. The only way to become clean is to be a child of the King.

And when the King accepts you, it’s not because of how good you are. You’re accepted because of how Good He is! So don’t get hung up on your sins. If you think your current sin is so great, just remember that your father embraced you when you were covered in pig slop. Every other sin you commit is a trifle. Confess it. Ask for His forgiveness, and then enjoy Him for the loving God He is!

Test #2 That You Have Delusions of Adequacy
Or perhaps you think you’re a pretty good person. And so you don’t make the time for Jesus except on Sundays or when there’s a crisis. Either way, it’s a delusion that somehow you’re adequate enough to exist without full dependence on Him.

You are not adequate. You never were adequate and you never will be. Without Jesus you are worthy of judgment. He is your life preserver. He is your oxygen. And who is so together that they only need to breathe on Sunday?

Are You Holy Enough Without Jesus’ Help? Do You Come To Him For Only The Big Things?
Imagine that just as you’re about to drink a mug of beer, a stranger adds to it a teaspoon of spit. Still want the beer? But what if I argued that you’re being overly picky? Overly judgemental. After all, the beer is still 99% pure!

You might say to me “Look, I have standards! Beer that’s 99% good is not good enough. The spit makes it totally unacceptable

But a holy powerful God has standards too. And if you, a flawed mortal won’t accept beer with a little spit in it, why would our holy God who made the universe, have lower standards than you?

Our God is perfect. And He requires perfection. Any sin you do is too much. Even at your best, you sin many times a day. You are never 99% pure. Which means every day you are impure. Every day you fail to meet the standard. Every day you become angry or faithless or impatient or loveless.

Your only hope is through His son Jesus. Without Him you can never meet the standard. Jesus himself says Apart from me you can do nothing. So if you’re never good enough, but for Jesus, why aren’t you spending more time with Him? Could it be that deep in your heart, you think you are good enough? Could it be you suffer from gross delusions of adequacy?


  1. Graham did you, yourself, compose this? I must admit that I would not have thought of these examples that you elaborate on. Interesting.

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