Stop trying so hard. It’s not going to make it any easier.
Have you ever had that drive to do better, try harder, do more, be better? Who am I kidding – if you’re human (and you’re reading this, so you’re human), you’ve felt that at least once in your life: “I’m not good enough. I have to try harder, or <something> won’t happen. In some cases – that’s true – you have to try hard at work, at school, or keeping your home in functioning order. There is, however, one thing where ‘try’ just doesn’t make any difference: Righteousness and salvation.
Yea – I kinda jumped right in there didn’t I? Well, the truth is, there’s really no way to dance around it. We’re saved because of God’s actions, not our own – and no amount of law following or do..gooder..y.. well, good behavior, I guess, is going to save you. Paul puts it fairly succinctly in Galatians with “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” ()
What’s this mean? It’s pretty simple: Failure to follow the Law (the Ten Commandments, not necessarily all of the Pharisee’s ‘extended version’) is punishable by death. Due to our fallen nature, it is literally impossible to follow the Law, and we should all therefore be subject to the penalty. Christ, who could follow the Law, stepped in and took that punishment for us. Because Christ took that punishment upon Himself, we are no longer bound by the penalty of the Law, and therefore our works have no effect on our salvation.
Because no matter how many “good” things we do, we will do just as many, if not more, “bad” things, and all sins, no matter how big or small have one punishment: death. It really doesn’t matter if we do a good thing for every bad, a single sin is enough.
Fortunately, we have Christ to save us.
Oh – and lest we think that just because we’re “saved” we can do whatever we want ’cause the price is paid, remember that “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” () – fruit is evidence of salvation. And through salvation comes good works.
Things to consider:
- How have I trusted in my own works, and not Christ’s, for my salvation?
- Am I willing to give up my own hold on my ‘ability’ to do good?
21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (ESV)
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (ESV)