The systems we set up to meet our own standards never work for establishing a healthy identity. They are insufficient and potentially corrosive. Our hope of achieving an “OK” self if we “did that” and therefore “do this” will fail. True, there may be a place for standards in life, but they can’t be the ground of who we perceive ourselves to be. The problem is that the “did that” and “do this” won’t give us what we long for – an ability to accept ourselves because of who we are and in spite of who we’re not. If we are to avoid a collapse into a vicious circle of self-affirmation or condemnation, we need to embrace the living tension between freedom and responsibility founded on several informers, including: nature, humanity, and the biblical text, which all promote the view that our value, dignity, and worth are “already there” and thus not something that we earn by measuring up to self-made standards.