Why is it that my good deeds, when fueled by my own desire to simply be a good person and “do right by my fellow man,” are not valid in the eyes of the Lord (according to the guidance I’ve been receiving lately from multiple different sources) unless I first accept Him as my Savior? If he can see into my heart, shouldn’t he be able to see the purity of it – even if it IS clouded by the recesses of my mind?
I live a pretty straight-arrow lifestyle. I stop completely at STOP signs, I hold doors for people, I do all of the common-sense things that I believe make me as non-hypocritical as I can be. I don’t “do as I say, not as I do.” I try to lead by example. However, I am not saved as of yet. I can’t make that final step. I can’t seem to just let go and … believe. I WANT to. I seek peace and quiet. Yet something stops me.
My heart hurts because above and beyond all else, I still feel like I’m being led to do something, despite my reservations to become a full-blown “believer.” I’m supposed to be leading a people right now. That’s what I feel in my heart. What people? To where? To do what? I don’t know. And thus adds to my confusion and well… MORE confusion.
How can I walk in footsteps where I am not sure I deserve to step? What if I am just seeking purpose where there is none in an effort to comfort myself with a feeling of belonging? Why is this so hard for me? Is it that I’m resisting being “broken?” Have you EVER heard of someone feeling these things? Am I alone?
Ok, so maybe I had more than just one question. 😉 I don’t expect ALL the answers from you (whew!) but you always seem to have an outlook on things that I could see mirroring my own, were I to be where you are now. Any guidance you feel comfortable offering is so greatly appreciated.
I am so glad you are asking questions and I will try my best to answer you. First off, it is great that you want to do all these good things and want to leave this world a better place. That is all good, and I don’t think God sees that as invalid.
However, the good stuff we do in life has no bearing on salvation. You mentioned all the things you do that make you a good person, but this is what makes Christianity different from all other world religions. The beauty of Christianity is that it is NOT about what we do for God, but rather what he did for us. We don’t have to work our way to salvation.
I can’t think of anything more frustrating than trying everyday to earn our salvation. The reality is we are all human and make mistakes everyday. Imagine if your eternity was based on solely doing more good than bad and if you were ever just a little out of balance when you died. It would all be for nothing.
The Bible talks about how none of us are worthy and salvation is the gift of God. There is nothing we could do on our own to earn our salvation, that is why Jesus died for our sins. We don’t have to kill ourselves worrying if we have been good enough or not. All we have to do is be forgiven.
Obviously, following God is not about cheating the system and seeing what you can get away with, but rather it is about aligning our hearts with Gods. Doing that should result in a change in our behavior, but that is an ongoing process that takes time.
I understand what it is like feeling like there has to be something more. That missing thing is God. We try filling that void with so many things in our lives even with good stuff. We can volunteer and do good things yet still feel empty, it sounds crazy but it’s true.
Salvation is not this wild mystery. It is simply asking God to forgive you for the junk in your life, and realizing that you need Jesus for salvation. The crazy thing is surrendering our life and will to God actually results in peace. When we let God have control over our lives it results in peace like you have never experienced before.
It took me time too till I was ready to surrender my will to God’s. I had all these questions I felt I needed answered first and it wasn’t till i realized God doesn’t worry about that stuff. He just wants us to come to him like we are broken bruised whatever and he will transform us if we open our hearts to him.
I hope this makes some sense, but please email me any time with any further questions you have.