Now that we’ve spent two weeks exhorting you (and ourselves!) to have a reputation for good works, I want to give a warning. Run! Run away from them as fast as you can!
No, I’m not contradicting everything Janelle said earlier today about being devoted to good works. I’m in full agreement with Scripture: we should give every last drop of energy to doing good works.
But, I know how it happens with me.
After I’ve done a good work, I want to add it to my collection. I put it on my soul’s mantle and I polish it and step back to admire it. What a godly woman I am for doing such a good work! How nice it was to receive the thanks and appreciation of others! What a noble, self-sacrificing person I am!
When I’m thinking like this, I’ve so missed the point.
Good works are not an occasion for self-congratulation. They are a reason to marvel, once again, at my Savior. Only because of the blood that Jesus shed on the cross are my sins forgiven—not because of any good work I have done or will do. Only His grace motivates me to a life of good works. Only because of Christ’s mercy are my good works pleasing to the Father. Only His power sustains me for a lifetime of good works to His glory.
Instead of exalting in my good works, I should be reveling in the Good Work of Christ that has totally transformed my life.
I must follow the example of one David Dickson who said: “I make a heap of all my bad works and all my good works and I flee them both to Christ.”
Yes, I should devote my life to good works in order to bring honor to my Savior. But at the end of the day, I must remember that it is only because of my Savior that these good works are pleasing to God. And I must flee all my good works and run to Christ.