Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Here’s another question burning in my heart.
Why do I feel the need to try so hard?
I don’t want to be guilty of a generalization, but there are basically three types of employees. One doesn’t care about what kind of work they do. Another works hard but only to achieve a reward. The third, and most valued employee, is the one who works hard out of a grateful heart to be able to work. Unfortunately, there are far too many of the first two types of employees.
It is the second type of employee that concerns me the most. They seek to earn more by performing up to a standard. They seek acceptance, affirmation, and acclaim through achievement. Their validation as a person of worth comes from their ability to accomplish tasks that earn favor from the employer. They are motivated by insecurities rather than loyalty: by greed rather than gratitude.
The reason this type of employee concerns me the most is because they represent many Christians today who do the same thing with God. The Apostle Paul saw it in the people of Galatia when he asked them a few more questions.
“Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”(Galatians 3:2-3)
In other words, why do we feel the need to try so hard to measure up to a religious standard? Why do we expend so much of our own strength to try to please God? Why do we have a checklist of spiritual duties to perform so that we can keep the favor of God?
Eternal life is entered by faith alone. Eternal life is secured by faith in the power of God to keep us not by our ability to secure ourselves by our accomplishments or performance. (1 Peter 1:3-5) And living for Jesus today and becoming like Him is not accomplished by our efforts alone, but by intentional cooperation with the Spirit of God in us. As Paul says to the people in Colossae, “Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord (by faith), so walk in Him.”
No more do I need to try so hard to measure up. No more do I need to validate myself. No more do I need to concern myself with achievement and performance so I can secure my life in Christ. I am motivated to serve Jesus, obey Jesus, and live for Jesus because I am already secure in Jesus through faith and not through my works.