It is part of human nature to want to perform for God, for ourselves, and for other people. No one has to teach us how to perform. We seem to be natural actors. Consider the following kinds of people, and see if you can find yourself reflected in at least one of them.
The Do-Gooder: Some people are convinced that if they do enough good deeds, if they say enough kind words, or if they develop good character qualities, then they will somehow earn the right to get into heaven. However, the Word of God reminds us that apart from Christ, "all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).
We seem to be natural actors.
The Ritualist: Some people have accepted Christ as their Savior but begin to slip into the comfort of rituals and traditions in expressing their faith. For them, the Sunday-morning order of service has to remain the same with little variation, right down to when they stand up or sit down in the church service. Ritual becomes a means to salvation, and soon they add baptism or communion to their faith in Christ as a means of salvation.
These approaches to Christianity misrepresent the true Gospel, which is not about what man can do, but what God has done in His grace because He "so loved the world" (John 3:16).
Prayer: Father, at times I have focused more on doing good things and on the rituals of my faith than focusing on Christ, the only means of my salvation. Forgive me and help me to remember that grace is a gift. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
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