Some people are just hard to please. No amount of effort is enough. No task is done right. Even thoughtful gestures or gifts are received in such a way as to let you know you fell short somehow. Trying to please the hard-to-please person is wearying. After a while, I don’t even want to try.
I wonder if some have this view of God. They feel like they can never serve enough to please Him. No sacrifice is great enough and no amount of effort will satisfy His demands. This view of God is not biblical. Yes, He wants us to be “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1). Yes, He wants us to put Him first (Matt. 6:33). And yes, He even wants us to strive to live as righteously as possible (Gal. 5:19-21). But He is very pleased with our efforts to do just that. How do I know? Two words: blood and grace.
Blood. We’re all going to sin (Rom. 3:23). Even the most faithful Christian will stumble (1 John 1:8). Instead of being hard to please, God made it possible for us to still be pleasing to Him. “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We don’t have to worry about never being good enough because the God we serve is faithful and righteous to forgive.
Grace. Day by day the blood of Christ is washing away my imperfections, and day by day the grace of God is strengthening my heart (Heb. 13:9). Right after we’re told that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, we’re also told that we “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). Instead of being hard to please, God has given us this beautiful gift (Eph. 2:8). He gives this gift of grace to us in abundance (2 Pet. 1:2). And He wants this grace to give us confidence, knowing that we can turn to Him for help at any time (Heb. 4:16). Troy Woolery, a recent graduate of the Bear Valley Bible Institute, said, “When we’re lacking, grace fills in the gaps.”
“I’ll never be good enough.” This sentiment causes some nonChristians to put off obeying the gospel because they feel they’ll never be able to measure up. It causes some Christians to want to quit because they feel like they can never get it right. Who wants the nonChristian to reject salvation? Who wants the Christian to give up in despair? It’s not God. Instead of feeling like we can never be good enough, He wants us to know that He has made us more than enough.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”