We have made it less about God, and more about us, focusing on our good works and our good lives… on looking good and staying good.
But that is not what God wants us to do. He wants us to fall into a loving relationship with Christ, not focus on merely outworking an example of Biblical living.
We have confused legalism with maturity, thinking that if we stay poor, stay right, stay good and stay true to our God, our good works will get us somewhere... Believing, sometimes without realising it, that these are our good works and they somehow hold up our end of the deal. As if God's covenant of grace relies on our good works for its completion. How wrong we are.
We do not understand that the grace He has given us is undependable if we are reliant on our own works. We cannot out-give it. We cannot out-rely on it by moving to a place of spiritual maturity where we no longer require what God has done for us.
Rather, maturity comes to those who are poor in spirit, knowing that what they have to bring to the table is worth less than the bag that it is brought in. We come to exchange our rags for riches; our spiritual poorness for his freedom in Christ.
To become truly rich, we have to exchange our good works for His love and affection; we are rich when we know that God loves us. Our good works are worth nothing to the incomparable richness of knowing and being known by Christ and in Christ. Then our good works do not mean nothing, they mean everything when they come out of the Spirit of God, but when they come in a spirit of 'Self', they are works of pride and pride comes before a fall.
How many preachers have we seen fall when they start to rely on their own works and their own goodness?
God is not afraid of our sin. He hung with sinners… in death and in life.
Grace Mathew is a Sydney-based writer and speaker who recently graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of International and Global Studies.
Garce's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-mathew.html