Two Words that Change Everything

Let's choose holy confidence over self-esteem.

 {my graphics are free goodies for you}

I’ve been given a hard task—write down the lies/condemnation my heart hears and the truth that will set me free.

I approach this assignment on an ordinary weekday morning over a cup of coffee. I pull out my favorite journal and write Lies/Condemnation on one side and Truth on the other, and then I draw a black line right down the middle.

The first lie/condemnation comes easily, like a strong wind blowing through me…

I’m not good enough.

It’s my signature struggle, the phrase that echoes through my mind most often. When I’ve addressed it in the past I’ve tried a simple counter argument: I am good enough. This never seems to work. I can say the words but I don’t feel them in my guts and bones. They ring untrue.

On this particular morning I realize suddenly that’s because they are untrue. For me to be “good enough” by my own standards I would have to be perfect. I am not perfect. I never have been. I never will be on this side of eternity.

Shoot. I may need more coffee.

I decide to go digging around in the Word for what else I might write in the Truth column. I find this:

“When I tried to keep the law [[be good enough]], it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless.” Galatians 2:19-21

Paul is writing these words to people who have been trying to be good enough, too. He is telling them what I’ve come to see: that I will never meet the impossible standard of perfection. His answer is not to pat them on the back and tell them they’re nice people anyway. No, his response really comes down to two words…

But Jesus.

It seems in that moment the table on which my coffee mug is sitting shakes, the earth tilts sideways, my old perspective shatters. This is the truth that overcomes every word of condemnation I hear inside my heart…

I’m not good enough. But Jesus.

I fall and fail and make mistakes. But Jesus.

I didn’t get everything right today. But Jesus.

What we need is not more “self-esteem”; it’s to fully understand that our hope and identity and security rest only in our Savior, in what He did for us on the cross and through His resurrection, in who He says we are as a new creation.

I fill the lies/condemnation column of my journal. Half the page is covered in black ink by the time I’m done. Yet when I finish there are still only two words on the Truth side: But Jesus.

I know I will go back to this place in my journal. Because as long as I am on this earth storms will come and the lies and condemnation will try to swirl through my mind like tiny tornadoes. Only truth can still them. As my friend and fellow writer Sharon Jaynes says in Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, “The enemy tries to get us to focus on our flaws rather than on our faith.”

Maybe your life could use a little more peace today too. What our hearts struggle with may be different but what rescues us is the same. We are the beloved and this is our hope, our anthem, our heart-shout that rises above the wind within…

But Jesus.

Holley Gerth


Right now, we’re doing a special link-up series to celebrate Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely. You’re a fiercehearted woman so I’m asking you to pour out a little love and courage with your words every Wednesday {the link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post, especially if it’s about living fully and loving bravely, and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to to see all the fun and join in too.

When you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth!

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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