Should I be following my role model or following God?

I recently read a book written by someone whom I admire. The book was really inspirational and discussed things I've been taught please God - being kind to others, taking care of your body, resisting temptation, working hard, etc. - and while it did discuss the importance of believing in a "higher power" (in the author's case it was God) to some extent, there wasn't too much of a faith-based perspective. I've found myself trying really hard to follow what this book's been saying, but I've realized that when I try to follow the same rules because I know God would want me to, I just don't have the same motivation. I feel really guilty. Should I keep trying to do what this book suggests? Will it make my faith weaker? Is it bad?

~ Anonymous

Great Question!

Dear Anonymous,

Those are some great questions. It sounds like the book had good advice, but it's important to remember that being good will never get us into Heaven. We can never be "good enough" for God.

Romans 3:23 tells us that we all have sinned and fall short the glory of God. And Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death. No amount of good can cancel that out. That's why Jesus came and died for us.

Following the advice in the book (as long as it doesn't go against God's Word) should be fine. But if you aren't willing to do the same for Jesus, that is an issue.

Let me ask you this: do you have a personal relationship with Jesus, or is church just something you do?

I ask, because for most of my life, my answer was the latter. I grew up in the church. I went to Sunday School. I knew all about Jesus, but I never had a one-on-one relationship with Him. The fact that He died for me was just that, a fact. It didn't stir up any emotions, it didn't change the way I lived my life. It was no different to me than knowing the sky was blue.

And that's a dangerous thing.

If you would have asked me, I would have said I was a Christian. But if you would have asked me if I loved Jesus I would have been perplexed by the idea. How can you love a fact?

Realizing that being a Christian was something deeply personal changed my entire life. I'd love to talk with you more, but I'll leave that up to you. You can comment here or shoot me a message via the contact form here.

~ Heather

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