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Why do I feel like I'll never be good enough for God? Will I ever measure up to His standards?

I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. Let me first encourage you that you are not alone in feeling like you are not good enough for God. Many people, of ALL ages, struggle with this feeling. It is hard to see any good in ourselves sometimes, especially because we know who we really are deep down—not the face we put on for others, but the dead, rotted soul that sin has made us inside. Truly, Romans 3:23 confirms that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And God, who is all-knowing, is quite familiar with that deep-down you too (Jeremiah 17:10).

I can't tell you why you (specifically) as a person feel this way. We have all done things for which we are ashamed, and we all have done things that we might feel are unforgivable sins. But I would like to help you see yourself the way God sees you, and I hope that this will give you a new perspective about why you are perfectly acceptable in God's eyes.

Let's go all the way back to when you were still in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13-14 tells us that God wove you together, making you who you are, that you are "fearfully and wonderfully made," and we know that all things God creates are wonderful things. That goes for YOU, His special creation as well!

But then we have that still-true verse from Romans 3:23, and we know that we are stained with sin. From the moment of our birth, there is no way we can NOT sin; it's in our nature as human beings (Ephesians 2:3; 1 John 1:8; Romans 5:12). We can even look at Jeremiah 17:9, which says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

If we are so terrible, how can we ever NOT be?

There is only one way: Jesus Christ.

That famous verse John 3:16 sometimes goes over our heads because we hear it so many times, but read it again with new eyes: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." The Almighty Creator of the Universe loved YOU, a tiny speck of sand in the midst of the cosmos, SO MUCH that He sacrificed the life of His only Son, Jesus—from whom He had never been separated in all eternity—so that He, the Creator of everything, could be with YOU. Wow. You're pretty special.

While Jesus was on earth, He told us, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). God the Father promised that we would have eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ, and He always keeps His promises (2 Peter 3:9). No matter how "bad" you are or how much you throw a tantrum about wanting your way, God will always take you in and take you back when you have run away from Him.

Even though the struggle against sin is real, 1 John 1:7 encourages us with this hope: "If we walk in the light, as [God] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." Did you catch that? Your sin will be CLEANED OFF!

Your faith in Jesus Christ is what makes you "good enough" for God—not anything you can do (Ephesians 2:8-9). Because, let's be honest, none of us can do any works "good enough" to erase all the sins we have ever committed in our lifetimes. No one is that good.

Listen: You ARE acceptable to God.

Do not be weighed down by self-judgment and concern as to your ability to make God accept you. You can't make Him love you more. The Creator of the Universe already loves you enough to sacrifice everything in order to be with you. He's loved you since the beginning of time, when He planned for your existence. As Jesus tells us in John 14:1, "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me."

TL;DR

Even though the struggle against sin is real, 1 John 1:7 encourages us with hope. Your faith in Jesus Christ is what makes you "good enough" for God—not anything you can do (Ephesians 2:8-9). Because, let's be honest, none of us can do any works "good enough" to erase all the sins we have ever committed in our lifetimes. You are already acceptable to God. Don't weigh yourself down with self-judgment. You can't make God love you more. He already loves you more than you could possibly imagine!

By: Catiana Nak Kheiyn

Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org and loves to write novellas with local young writers at her workshops. She also contributes at GotQuestions.org, Blogos.org, and GQkidz.org. When Catiana is not writing or hanging out with teens, she loves spending time with her two kids, five socially awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.

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