Goodness Is Not About Trying Harder

Jesus that they may have life

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” — John 10:10 (NKJV)

I gave up. I surrendered. I let go. I stopped being in charge of my spiritual goodness, because I didn’t have any spiritual goodness. I had worked for God and yet withheld my heart from Him. I’d sought to please Him, like a father who is hard to please, and missed that He was pleased with me.

I tried to do so many things for God that I missed being with God.

Where was the goodness in that? I discovered that the Christian life is not about trying harder. It is not about keeping it all together. It is about trusting in the One who can keep it all together. If we just roll up our sleeves and try harder, we are not walking with Jesus. If we can do it all ourselves, what do we need Him for?

When I gave up, I felt a gentle stirring in my soul. He whispered to me, “Jesus came to give you life. Peace — real peace on the inside, from all of this climbing, striving, and worrying. Joy — unabashed delight in life, regardless of the circumstances. Love — foundational, unconditional, never-ending love.”

I didn’t have to work for these things, I just had to surrender to them. I had to stop long enough to let them overtake me. Again and again.

* * *

Your Turn 

Do you find yourself striving to please God like a father who is hard to please? How easy it is to get into that mode of working for and serving God but miss Him altogether! But, Zephaniah 3:17 says that God takes great delight in you, will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing!  Leave a comment and answer our question below. We would love to hear from you! 

Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, author of Fresh Brewed Life, has a uniquely creative voice. As an accomplished writer, speaker, and actor, Nicole has performed in thousands of churches and venues over the last twenty-five years, including more than a decade of touring with the national conference Women of Faith. Nicole lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband and two children.

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