We’re taught it from an early age. It’s ingrained in our minds once we go to school and doesn’t stop until we die. Work, Work, Work!!! Want to make that sports teams? Work real hard. You’ll get there. Want that big promotion? Do the overtime. Show everyone you’ll outwork them for the job. But somewhere along the line, we start to believe our work is what saves us. It’s what makes us who we are.
How much good is good enough? We believe that we must be good and do more to earn God’s favor and the favor of others. If we worship more and pray more and give more and rack up more accomplishments God will have to take notice. But God did take notice. Long before we ever had the opportunity to earn our salvation, God gave it. That’s what grace is all about. God doesn’t ask us to work to earn his love (although our work is a natural byproduct once we’ve experienced the love of God). God says to come to him for rest. His burden is easy and light (Matthew 11:28-30).
Regardless of what some may teach, we don’t live under a system of legalism that has us working to earn the grace of God. On the contrary, we have great freedom. A freedom to love and be loved by God. An assurance that an obedient and faithful life lived for him will grant us eternity in heaven. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).