I have often thought over the past year about how much things have changed in my life since I have been following Jesus. I used to be the person at the party, not only consuming everything in sight (booze, drugs, etc.), but also convincing others to do the same. I chewed tobacco all day every day. I hated everything about God and anything to do with religion or spirituality. I basically was on track to do anything I could to actively destroy my life. But now, all those things have turned around 180 degrees. To think that so much could change in one year gives me hope in God's truth that in Him, nothing is impossible.
That being said, if you would have asked me two years ago if I were a good person or not, my answer would have been a resounding yes. If you were to ask me now, that answer would be a definite no. So much has been revealed to me through reading the Bible and being in communion with God. The more you read and find out about Him, the more you realize how wrong you were, and how wrong you still are. You see, I may be 100 times better than I was before, but I still fall infinitely short when compared to God. We have no comprehension for how perfect He is, nor how wicked we are.
You may be thinking to yourself, "Well I think I'm a pretty good person. Sure, there's some things that need to be changed, but overall, I think I'll be getting to heaven someday." You probably do a lot of nice things for your family and friends. Maybe even give to charity and help out in your community. You make it to church every Sunday, put a few dollars in the basket each week. Compared to everyone else around you, myself included, you're probably a pretty good person. Unfortunately, you will not be judged in comparison to your neighbors when the day comes. You will be judged in comparison to the only one who ever lived a perfect life. Jesus Christ. Let me tell you, my friend, you will fall inconceivably short. That is why He had to come in the first place. No one could ever make it to heaven on their own merit. We are hopelessly lost without His direction.
If you still don't believe it, think about a couple of things that Jesus told us. I've never murdered anyone, and I'm sure you haven't either. Check that commandment off. Don't have to worry about that one, right? Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew, that even if we are angry at someone, treat them with contempt, or curse someone, we are in danger(5:22). He equates anger and murder. How many times, even in the past week, have you been agitated by a co-worker, complained about that stupid cashier at the gas station who can't count change, or spit curses at the driver who cut you off? "Murder", Jesus says. I don't know about you, but I've killed more than a couple this week by that standard. He says similar things about adultery, pride, and revenge, and I am guilty of all. If you are honest with yourself, you probably are too.
So what are we to do? I would suggest a few things to you. The first would be to admit to God that you cannot live up to His standard, because you can't. The second would be to confess the things that you are aware of that are wrong in your life. The Bible says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive. The third thing I would tell you is DON'T STOP THERE! Be deliberate in your thinking all the time. Ask yourself not just WHAT you did today, but ask yourself WHY you did it. Take an inventory of your thoughts throughout the day. Put up a reminder on your fridge or your desk to "Be Deliberate". Your motives and emotions will tell you more about what's wrong then just looking at your outward actions. Ask God to take the things that are wrong from your life as you encounter them. Trust me, He will.
I hope you have come to realize that nothing you do can get you to heaven. You must trust in Christ alone. I have never regretted getting closer to God and His will for my life. It is the greatest thing you could ever do. So be deliberate today! Weed out the things from your life that God doesn't want there, and give your life to Him, that he may use it for something truly worthwhile.
Hopefully reading this has helped you in some small way. Probably more likely is that it has at least made you think a little bit. I make no claim to be perfect or to have life figured out. I'm just here to try to help others find the Truth that I have. If you agreed with this or disagreed, if you liked it or hated it, please comment and let's have a conversation about it. If there is something I missed, something you would like to add, or a suggestion on something else for me to write about, please let me know. I'm open to all opinions as long as you are open to mine. Thanks for reading and may God show himself to you more and more.