The Not Good Enough Feeling
A few winters ago I was asked to speak to a chapter of the Christian Medical & Dental Association at a major university. I prayed and pondered as to what the Holy Spirit would illuminate for me to speak on. To my surprise and slight disdain, He illuminated this phrase: the not good enough feeling.
This rubbed me wrong for several reasons. It seemed so feeling-centric. It seemed so worldly, so self-helpish. It did not seem to fit an audience of the most intelligent, most attractive, most soon-to-be successful, most industrious young adults in the country, if not the world.
Yet, this gargantuan temptation to lean on our own understanding is precisely why Paul reminded us: the natural man and the natural mind does not accept the things of the Spirit, they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned. If I was going to be spiritual and Spirit-anointed for this moment, I had to ignore my natural reasonings and follow the illumination by faith.
The week of my talk the Spirit began illuminating the main points and scriptures that would scaffold my message. It gradually became clear that this message, even though it involved emotions, was not feeling-centric at all, and even though it would be very helpful, was not worldly self-helpish, and even though the audience would be elite, was rising in me with power and relevance. With the Spirit and the spiritual, things are rarely what they seem on the surface. The subtle background and sideground where the Spirit hovers to create is often crowded out and louded out by the salient foreground. Acts 17:27 (NASB): That they would seek God, if perhaps they might feel around for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
After delivering the message, almost every single person either told me, emailed me, or told my host that they were tormented by or struggle regularly with that surprising little phrase, the not good enough feeling.
The message, though enlightening and helpful, was not enough. A book needed to be written.