When I first started training my dog, I would say, “Good boy!” and give him a treat when he did what I asked him to do. I eventually realized that he didn’t care about the treat at all. All he cared about was hearing “good boy” from his mom. He does whatever he thinks I want him to do just to hear me say those two little words. Aren’t we doing that with God? I stopped caring about the “treats” from God a long time ago; and I considered myself pretty wise for figuring that out. It turns out that I am not that wise. I am still working hard to hear God say, “good girl” when he sees what I have done. If I believe that God’s favor can be purchased, I must examine my own goodness as a form of payment. And if the love of God were for sale, and my goodness was the only money I had, I couldn’t afford an ounce of that love. So why am I trying to buy it instead of just letting him give it to me? Maybe I am proud of my good deeds and I want them to count. But my good deeds become bad the moment that I try to use them to purchase God’s favor. I have to stop living for the “good girl” and start living for the good God behind it.
But my good deeds become bad the moment that I try to use them to purchase God’s favor.