Working Hard or Hardly Working?
I don’t know what it is that makes people want to be better. There are so many reasons that we could simply live, and try to survive each day, without being the best that we can possibly be. Why can’t we be satisfied with being good enough to pass a class? Or being good enough to earn a decent paycheck? But most of us don’t stop at these benchmarks. There is something in us that strives for perfection, despite the cold hard fact that we are without a doubt unable to attain it. So what’s the big deal? Where am I going with this?
We all want to be perfect, but none of us can be. There would be no big problem with this, except for one simple fact. God’s standard, the bar that He sets and measure whether we get into heaven or not, is perfection. He only accepts people that are completely without sin, and have lived a life that was fully devoted to him, following his every command. Suddenly, there’s a big problem. In fact, that’s the biggest problem the world has ever known. But hang on…there’s more.
This is where many Christians would break into the message of our Salvation in Jesus Christ. But I am going to skip that part, hoping you have either already accepted Jesus or are looking for something besides the ever-so-often heard Jesus Loves You spiel. Instead, I am going to ask a question that I ask myself everyday… and honestly I can’t say I’ve really gotten an answer yet.
I try every day to be good. I try to be acceptable in God’s eyes. But I can’t do that, because I have ways of interesting myself with all sorts of fun and cool things that God had no intention of me getting into. So is just asking for forgiveness every day going to keep me clean? Because after a while, my prayers for forgiveness have gotten so bland and rehearsed that I can’t even attach much meaning to them. More importantly, am I judged based on how many times I ask for forgiveness? Since I am not able to be perfect, does my getting into heaven depend on how many times I remind myself and God of that fact? Or is there more? I believe there is more.
I believe that there is a central part of each person that consists of the person’s true self. Whether metaphorical or actually apparent, it doesn’t matter. There is a core in each person that is created by every decision we make. It develops when we make good decisions and becomes fragile when we make bad decisions. These decisions are determined good or bad based not on the outcome, but the effort we make in the process. For example, when a three year old gives everything she has to heave up a shot during a basketball game with her father, that is a choice and action that is carried out with honest hard work, determination, passion, and good intentions. That is what God is looking for. The father in the story could care less if his little girl makes the basket, because he knows that she put up the very best shot that she is capable of shooting. Making the shot just puts icing on the cake, but doesn’t make the father love his daughter any more or less. God is very similar to this father.
So. Do your best. Words we have heard since we were in kindergarten. But they ring true even today, when we are going through high school.
Give everything you have into being perfect.
Don’t sit and pout about how you will never be perfect. Because guess what?
Jesus fills the gap between our efforts and God’s standards.
But understand, He will only do this when you have proven that you love God and are committed to Him, to be able to handle the relationship you have been offered with the King of the Universe, and one day enter Heaven.
I am a senior at Brandywine High School and am just trying to make a difference in my community. There are many different decisions that are in need of making soon, but for now I am just enjoying the life that God has given me, and preparing to follow his direction.
Leave a comment