My “Good” Wasn’t Good Enough

Like many of you, I grew up in a Christian home and from the time my parents could put me in nursery, I was at church. Born and raised, you might say.

I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world and I think that is largely in part because I didn’t know any better. Every time the church doors were open, I was there. Quite simply, I really love the church. That’s a miracle.

However, I grew up believing a really big lie.

I grew up believing I didn’t have a worthwhile testimony to share. That even if I did share my testimony, it would fall on deaf ears. That it wouldn’t make a lick of difference to those I was sharing it with.

The fact is:

I did grow up in church.

I pretended (and looked) to have it all together.

I do come from a stable, loving home and family, though we’re as messed up and crazy as they come.

I was the teacher’s pet.

I attempted to follow all the rules. (That only works for so long.)

I liked looking like I had it all together. That is safe. That is not vulnerable. Hurt doesn’t happen when you fake it.

I have deep desires of my heart that have yet to be met.

I do have trials, hardships and life experiences to share.

I have not been given everything I’ve ever wanted and my life is not peaches and cream. Blessed, yes.

I’ve lied. I’ve gravely sinned. I’ve lusted. I’ve been angry. I’ve gossiped. I’m insecure. I’m helpless. I’m needy. And the list goes on and on.

I do have a testimony. I know my sins. I know my shortcomings. I need Jesus.

My attempt at holiness was lame to say the least. My attempt at producing any good in me to cover up the dark was helpless. My good was simply not good enough, though I desperately wanted it to be.

I don’t want to point fingers or blame any one person or thing, but I think we as a church have done a less than stellar job at portraying what a worthwhile testimony is. A testimony, as we have so endearingly coined it, is simply a public confession regarding the ways Jesus has changed your life.

My sins, no matter how big or small they may seem, still sent Jesus to the cross. My attempt at living a charmed life was feeble and frail.

Our testimony is what makes us authentic. Real. Relatable.

The truth is, everyone has gone through something that has changed him or her. If you have confessed Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savor, you well know that the old has gone and the new has come. You are a new creation. You’ve changed. Whatever it was that brought you to repentance in the first place, is the very thing worth sharing. Whatever it was that was once holding you captive that no longer has a hold on you, that’s worth sharing.

Need I list the things that hold us captive?

Legalism. Sexual Sin. Drugs. Addictions. Alcohol. Perfectionism. Insecurity. Lust. Greed. Jealousy. Hate. Pride. We could go on and on as this is clearly not an exhaustive list.

Where we as a church have strayed is that we glorify the big testimonies. We glorify the folks on the platform that have sinned “big”. We glorify the stories that seemed absolutely hopeless, but ended in victory.

Can I say something? Salvation through Jesus Christ is a miracle, regardless of where you have or have not been. It’s still a faith walk for every individual.

We were all hopeless. We all have victory in the end when we choose Jesus over _____________. (You fill in the blank.)

You, if you are in Christ, have something to offer. You have hope to offer.

If you’ve grown up in the church, don’t believe the lie you have nothing to share. First, yes you do.  If you are a living, breathing human, you’re flawed and need Jesus. Own up to that! But for you, maybe what someone needs to hear is that your good, despite all your failed efforts, wasn’t good enough to make it into the kingdom of heaven. There is one way, and His name is Jesus. You may be a really good, nice, sweet, charming, never-hurt-a-fly kind of person, but good doesn’t get you into Heaven. Jesus does.

To my young friends, don’t go looking for way to mess up so you have a story to share.

Share your story of less-than-perfect faithfulness to a God that has been nothing but perfectly faithful and loving towards you, despite your efforts of trying so hard. Share that even your goodness wasn’t good enough. Therefore, the good kid who has the works thing down, if they can’t do it, who can? That, my friends, is the gospel.

We’re justified by faith alone in Christ.

All sin keeps us from God. It keeps us bound up.

It just goes to show that there is no one good, no, not one. Can we emphasize that? Though from the outside it may appear I have little to confess day in and day out, that’s far from the truth. I lay my head on my pillow each night knowing how dearly loved I am in Christ, yet painfully aware of my shortcomings. Painfully aware of the areas that only Christ can change in me. Painfully aware of my ugliness.

Do we need the stories of God’s dramatic salvation and redemption? Absolutely! Do we keep sharing those and telling of how God has transformed our lives? Yes and amen! Do we continue to put them on the platform? By all means! May we all come humbly. Those stories also tell us that no one has out-sinned God, not matter how much they think they have! We need not be shocked or judgmental of anything or anyone. We should extend grace and love.

It reminds me of the Prodigal Son. One son did everything right (false) while the other was out doing everything wrong and yet they still needed the same grace. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re all more like the elder brother than we care to admit.

But let us be aware of the girl or boy that feels worthless because they didn’t have a Saul-to-Paul conversion.

My goal isn’t to deny what Christ has done for you and where He alone has brought you and rescued you from. Nor is my goal to magnify how good you’ve been. My goal is to glorify Christ.

Conversion is conversion regardless of the pits we’ve been in.

Salvation is salvation regardless of how we’ve acted.

God’s redemption is for everyone.

And His story is good enough to be told throughout the ages.

We were all lost. For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) But Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10) Translation = That’s US. That’s enough. That’s radical.

For the one who has served time in prison, been released and feels called to minister to those in prison. Yes! Go! Share that the same grace and mercy that was offered to you, is offered to everyone. In the name of Jesus.

For the girl who’s had an abortion and feels called to volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center. To you I say go! In the name of Jesus.

For the person (girl or guy) who’s struggled with any type of sexual sin, has broken free, and feels called to minister out of that. Yes! Do it! In the name of Jesus. So that He would get the credit. So that the weight of life change would fall on His shoulders, not yours.

You are redeemed! God delights when anyone comes to faith in Him through Jesus.

Each of our redemption stories minister to different people all over. Not one of our stories will minister to everyone, that’s why we’re the body of Christ. We all have different experiences and stories to share, but the same Jesus.

Putting pressure on the story makes it about you. Putting pressure on the gospel makes it about Jesus

That’s your story. You were once dead and now you’re alive. And that is worth sharing, Sister.



138 Responses to “My “Good” Wasn’t Good Enough”

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  1. 1

    Very sweet, Lindsee. U go! In the sweet name of Jesus!

  2. 2
    Julie Reynolds says:

    Oh my Word sister!!! Amen and Amen!!! Thank you for sharing and for being so authentic. I hope we will all take the challenge to “GO!” and make it about JESUS!!!

    Thank you Lindsee for just being you, sometimes that is just what we siesta’s need!!

    We love you!

  3. 3
    Stacey Jaramillo says:

    I’m thankful that you are no longer believing the lie of the enemy. I think that this sort of lie is running rampant within the church.

    My hat’s off to you for proclaiming the truth. It is indeed a miracle that the Lord of All Creation would die for you and for me.

    The story of our lives and the eternal impact it’s having for His Kingdom and glory is just beginning. I can’t wait to see how it all pans out. It will be marvelous!

    Thanks for sharing and putting the enemy in his place!

  4. 4
    Tanya says:

    To My young friends–don’t go looking for way to mess up so you have a story to share.


    I came from messed up. I believed the lie. I got saved when I was 9. Then when I was 10. Then every few months thereafter until I was 15. I was baptised twice by the time I was 15. I guess they believed you could backslide and lose your great gift of Jesus by the judgement of people. I read the books–the teen challenge books. The girls who went and sold their bodies for a drug that ruined their lives. And Jesus saved them. You know REALLY saved them. I was tired of being saved from stupid crap when I was just a kid. So I ran away. Miraculously Jesus DID save me. I didn’t find the mess I was looking for. But life was still a mess. A real ugly icky christian mess.

    Well I found my testimony when I was 20. I mean I meant to help. I loved Jesus then. But there were entanglements in my head that I can’t even say. Its a scary world. And it took me down.

    All the details don’t matter. All I know is I lost the religion. And I found Jesus. And Jesus my friends has shown me how much a mess I was and am.

    Jesus is the only hope. But if you look for mess in life to prove that truth all you get is a mess in life that you have to work though. You got to live with the choices you make. Rich Mullins said that. So help me (and pray for you) make good ones. Give your mind to Jesus. Thats really what giving your heart to him means you know. Its asking him to direct your thoughts and make them like his. Its the place that balances every emotion. And sets your steps right.

    Blessings. Thanks Lindsey. You are beautiful. And admirable. And praiseworthy. And beyond that–you are pure.


  5. 5
    Mindy Rogers says:

    I became a Christian at 15. By nature, I am a rule-follower. I strove to do things by The Book and I did. I had always felt like my testimony wasn’t “powerful”.
    But as I began teaching high school and working with the youth in my church, I realized that my testimony was powerful because it highlighted the blessings of being obedient to God in the areas of my life where I was obedient. It also is an example of everyone, even those who look “good” on the outside, needing the redemption and cleansing that Christ brings…just like you so eloquently wrote about.
    LOVE THIS! 🙂

  6. 6
    Joelle says:

    Amen! Being the “good” girl has its own challenges, it’s own standards to live up to and to fail. May I recommend “Grace for the Good Girl” by Emily Freeman? It’s a lovely book on this very subject! This 3rd generation church girl found it very encouraging.

    My parents took me to church so much, so the story goes, that I said “going to church?” everytime they put my coat on me.

  7. 7
    Amy L says:

    I struggled with this for a long time, and honestly, deep down, I still probably do if I were honest with myself.

    BUT…I remember hearing a speaker (and I so wish I could remember his name!) when I was at a youth event when I was about 18, and he said (and I’m paraphrasing), “It doesn’t take any more grace from Jesus to save the murderer on death row than it does to save the ‘good girl.'” And that stuck with me. The price — and the gift of salvation — is the same for anyone.

    Thanks for this post!!

  8. 8
    Tilda says:

    Thank you Lindsey! Very, very true.

  9. 9
    Ingrid says:

    Well said, I’d also include;
    For those of you who lived your lives faking it within church families. If you feel called to be used by God to reveal authenticity within the church environment, then Go! In the name of Jesus.

    Great article. I had this overwhelming desire to stand and clap – not a normal behaviour of mine at the computer.
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  10. 10
    Julie says:

    Thank you

  11. 11
    Luann says:


    i personally have/am experiencing this in regards to the SIN of anger. no one touches it or even seems struck by it when i confess it. THAT is a problem.

    you articulated the “i don’t have a “big” testimony to share” lie/faulty thinking well! thank you for that.

  12. 12
    Ashlie McDonald says:

    Lindsee!!! Best post EVER!!! Truth, truth, and more truth!! God sure spoke through you and I praise our God for all He is and what He has done!! Amen!

  13. 13
    Lisa says:

    Truth. Love it.

  14. 14
    Christiane says:

    our ‘good’ is not even our own to claim, if you realize that all that is good comes originally from God

    if we love, it also comes from the Source of all love

    all we can hope for is that we continue to turn towards the good, to turn towards the love, which is the same as choosing ‘life’ when we turn toward the Source of all that is good and holy

    not even our ‘good’ is ours to claim 🙂

  15. 15
    Kelsey Lusk says:

    Thanks for your honesty and love of the Lord! I didn’t grow up in the church but did grow up basically “good” and feel my testimony is blah! But I know how much Jesus has changed me, how He has pulled me out of my struggles! Praise God He loves us and has come for ALL of us!

  16. 16
    Tara says:

    Amen, Sister!!

  17. 17
    Andrea says:

    Lindsee, I couldn’t have said it any better.

  18. 18
    Joy says:

    Preach it, Sister!!! Such a timely word for me. I’ve been asked to share my testimony, and God is so faithful to help me prepare. Thank you for being a willing vessel for Him to use, because this post blessed & encouraged me.

  19. 19
    Michelle Baylerian says:


    What wise words from a young woman! For many years I believed the lie that I didn’t have a testimony worth sharing because I wasn’t involved in blatant sin. Thank you Lord that I now know that is untrue. We each have our story of not only redemption but how He continues to form us into His own image. I just finished updating my testimony as it relates to forgiveness. My Bible Study teacher has asked me to share it at our annual retreat in October. What an honor. ALL the glory goes to Him!! You certainly are precious & dearly loved xo

  20. 20
    Shirleen says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Lindsee!

    “A testimony, as we have so endearingly coined it, is simply a public confession regarding the ways Jesus has changed your life.” The focus being on JESUS!!

  21. 21
    Ganise says:

    My good wasn’t good enough and still isn’t it. I’m struggling with the feeling of not doing enough. Perfectionism. The spirit of putting too much on myself. I just beg God to be patient with me. I’ve also grown in a church family and am considered a good person – but like you said it still isn’t enough! God’s Grace is enough. He IS enough. Not to get my mind to absorb this. I’m making slow progress though. Thank you, Lindsee. This post was just what I needed to lay my eyes on.

    Keep on being a blessing to this community.

  22. 22
    Michele says:

    Truth! That’s a good word Lindsee! Thank you.

  23. 23
    Jaclyn Bailes says:

    Great post!!!!!

  24. 24
    Robbie says:

    Wow! That hit floe to home!?

  25. 25
    Casey says:


    From one faker to another…

  26. 26
    Mindy says:


    This is so good. Thanks for sharing. My testimony is similar to yours, but when
    I got a glimpse of who I really was. What my sin was, I was so broken.
    People couldn’t seem mine, and I’m sad to say sometimes it was accepted to act the
    way I did. Self- righteous is who I was. Praise God for his mercy to save me,
    and deliver me from that place! Thanks for sharing, and speaking out about this.

  27. 27
    Kaitlyn says:

    Amen, girl!

  28. 28
    Montanagal says:

    Girl….this is the realest I’ve heard….thank you….so many need this…way appreciated….

  29. 29

    What a wonderful testimony. Your right we all do have our own personal story of salvation and a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus that is unique.

    I’m glad you posted this because we all needed to hear it.

  30. 30
    deana says:

    well spoken/ written…i had the saul/paul conversion but my husband did not…i often talk to him about it because i am just so thankful and amazed at what Jesus has done for me but that doesnt lessen the fact that he is saved just like me…sometimes i think he doesnt share as much because it wasnt some overnight miracle however, salvation itself is a miracle no matter “the experience”…we all need Jesus and we all come to Him our own way…and that is ALWAYS worth sharing…thank you for this post!

  31. 31
    Amy says:

    Sister, this is great-in fact, I’m sharing it on my facebook tonight because I know that we need to be reminded of this reality. I started reading “Grace for the Good Girl” today and actually stopped in my tracks as I began to read your post. So many similarities…maybe God is trying to tell me something? 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart.

  32. 32
    Betty M says:

    I too grew up in a christian home went to church all the time and heard sensational testimonies too. It sometimes even to this day kinda annoys me! Yes, though, if people have been caught up in all kinds of horrible sin and have been redeemed, great, they should shout it from the roof tops! But, are some of these stories sensationalized just to get some audiences? I still struggle with wondering about that. It is one thing to be redeemed from the clutches of terrible sin but to stretch the story just to get a rise outta others is sin as well. I know I am coming down kinda hard here but the person who has been saved after having a baby out of wedlock who quietly goes and volunteers at a teen crisis center and works with other young gals who got pregnant and need support that is true servant hood. I hope others are seeing what I am trying to say here and not take offense but sometimes there is such a push to sell a story to a book publisher etc when maybe not trying to capitalize on mistakes for the sake of personal gain is more Godpleasing. Thanks, Lindsee have been there myself!
    Betty M

    • 32.1
      cindy says:

      Betty, I absolutely understand where you are coming from. And, perhaps that does happen, stretching, sensationalizing, etc…..But, I’ve often thought people would think that about my absolutely true story that sounds like I made it up. I sometimes preface when telling it by say, “I know this sounds like I made it up, but I absolutely did not….” God can be so amazing it blows me away. So, I guess I’m saying this to you so you don’t think all “unbelievable” stories are sensationalized. They aren’t. God can work some pretty sensational miracles….I guess in my case, ever since I’ve been praying for Him to show me how best to use myself to glorify Him. He saved my life. Part of my issue is getting over my reticence about telling it. I don’t want to come off as one of “those” you described. I want to do so in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m “using” it in the wrong way. How do I find my voice authentically? I’ve come to think that NOT telling it is the problem. It should be told. We all need to find a way to share our story, big or small, in a way that’s authentically us and feels right. I’m rambling……you got me thinking.

  33. 33
    Shawna says:

    I once thought I didn’t have a testimony and I remember telling God that one day. I had lived a “good” life albeit sinful. But I thought I was a good person. My sins didn’t hurt anybody. The terrible sins only me, a few other people and God knew about and he had forgiven me so it was done with. It wasn’t soon after that that God started taking me on a journey (well he has had me on a journey long before I realized it) and revealed to me what I call “character flaws” … which basically resulted from my “idol worship.” And trust me when I say that deliverance is just as painful as though I was delivered from any of the “big” sins. But praise God he is/was always faithful to bring me through it and to change me into someone who reflects Christ more and more each day…To God be the Glory!

    I say all that to say that when we give testimonies we too often think we don’t have one because we categorize it by the degree of sin we think we have committed. The big sins result in a powerful testimony…the smaller sins not so much. That is so wrong! God’s work in our lives is no bigger or greater just because WE look at sin a certain way. My “idol worship” was and is just as hard to let go of as any addict who can’t give up the bottle, needle or powder! But my God is bigger than any of that and that is a story that needs to be told.

    Thanks Lindsee for sharing this!

  34. 34
    Natalie says:

    Very powerful post Lindsee! So well written. It’s so important for us all to remember that Jesus has saved each and every one of us who has believed, no matter what “pit” He has saved us from. Thank you!

  35. 35
    Gay Beck says:

    Dear Lindsee,

    You are soooooooooooooo amazing in your spiritual writing and growth in the ministry. I don’t get every blog entry read. However, I have been a regular Beth Moore blog reader for nearly 3 years. I remember Beth’s introduction when you began working at LPL ministries. God is growing you in such a mighty way. You are a true blessing to Beth and to all of us! 🙂 Your last several articles in the past month have been so powerful, as only the Spirit of God can perfect. Perfect in a humble way!!Thank You and Blessings for your summer. I have to prepare for a Bible study for tomorrow. After that I will try to come back to your post and give my testimony.

    In God’s Love,

    From Plain City, OH

  36. 36
    Sarah says:

    A friend and I were just sharing the same thought last week! No, my story is not dramatic but Praise the Lord it is my story of how He saved me.

  37. 37
    Hannah Merton says:

    This is beautiful. We are overcomers by the word of our tesimony (Rev). Period. It does not say we are overcomers by the word of our sorry, difficult or sad testimony…just testimony. ALL have fallen short. ALL have missed the mark. You captured it very well. My testimony is mondo crazy…and sometimes I do find myself thinking that people who haven’t been through “so much” can’t relate…but we can ALL relate to sadness, want, loss and need – and everyone’s testimony is on a spectrum of those…someone will always have it better or worse than us. So…this is a very good admonition to stop comparing ourselves even on this. Let’s just get together and help others…no one is exempt from needing that.

    Thank you. 🙂


  38. 38
    Mary says:

    Just discovered you. I clicked on your Beth Moore icon, because she’s awesome, but I’m writing to comment on your blog of having a testimony, awesome! I’m going to share it with my 14 and 15 year old girls ( Sunday school class). Thanks for the blog, but mostly for your testimony!

  39. 39
    Sarah k. says:

    Can I jump up n down wich ya? Throw my hands up n sing his praises?Oh what Grace! Hallelujah ! What a Saviour!

  40. 40
    Pam Pruijs says:

    Dear Lindsee,
    I sooooo wish i had read this as a teenager struggling tp figure out what i needed to be “saved” from! I went through a time when i thought I had to go do something “bad” to have a relationship with Christ! Thankfully His pursuit of me caught me just in time!
    I am going to share this for sure and be more bold in my own testimony.

    Keep up the great work reaching out to girls and even us “old” ladies!

  41. 41
    Amy Gomon says:

    Thanks for sharing! I can totally relate, and I needed to read this today. Thanks again for sharing your beautiful testimony!

  42. 42
    Anne says:

    Amen!! Thanks for sharing this!

  43. 43
    Robyn says:

    Amen. Best post to date. We need to tell this to all out middle school and high school “good” kids who don’t think their life is worthy because they don’t have a story. People think I’m a ” good” gir
    Neither a charmed life but I have fallen into some deep pits.

    Thank you

  44. 44
    Suey says:

    Lindsee. Thank you!Merci!
    truth sets us free. Very well spoken
    take care God bless you

  45. 45
    Molly says:

    Thank you for sharing Lindsee!! This describes me EXACTLY!

  46. 46
    Pat says:

    Thank you for sharing. God used this in His perfect timing to validate a lesson from the “Gideon study” today. From the study(Day5, Week 2), He put on my heart, that sharing with family members is the first place I need to serve. This is so out of my comfort because I fear their ridicule. Today’s lesson and your post are both of the Spirit showing me where I need to serve.

  47. 47
    Alexis says:

    Oh Lindsee! Thank you for sharing this! I can totally relate with you. I needed the upwords and encouragement this morning. This may be one of your most powerful posts yet! Amen.

    Hope you have a blessed day!

  48. 48
    Angela says:

    Thank you, Take a look at David Murphy’s I am second video.

  49. 49
    Sherry says:

    Thanks soooo much for sharing your wisdom…it spoke volumes and described me (in a nutshell). I had tried to be good enough for others. I had tried to “put on” just enough to protect myself from getting hurt…but broken is a good thing and getting/being real w/God is where my light is beginning to peak thru. TYL for being patient and loving us “thru it all”. Thank you Lindsee and I WILL be reading that book Grace for the Good Girl.

  50. 50
    Suzy E. says:

    L – your story is my story (except for the “good” part. 🙂 Legalism and perfectionism had me BOUND for so many years – but Christ has set me free!

    Thank you for telling the wonderful story of God’s transforming power in your life! Now I will go and tell mine . . .

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