The Purpose of Good Works

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

One of the biggest things that I struggled with growing up was the feeling that I needed to earn love and approval from those around me by doing all the right things. I don’t know exactly where that feeling originated – probably a combination of many different places, but I think it is something that many people, especially girls, find themselves dealing with at some point in their life.

I felt like if I did and said all the right things and made no mistakes then everyone, including God, would take notice and love me. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of love just because of who I was.

The bad thing about this was that my self-esteem and beliefs about myself were not rooted in anything reliable or permanent. It all depended on how I performed on things like school, friends, family, sports, etc. If anything was not going well, I let myself believe that that was a reflection of me and my failure as a person. If I ever made a mistake, it must mean that there was something wrong with me. This resulted in me living a life marked by insecurity, fear of failure, and not being confident in where I stood with God.

However, as I grew and matured in my faith in God, I began to learn about the unconditional love that our God promises to us. First and foremost, I learned that God sent His Son down to earth to die for our sins while we were still sinners because he loved us (Romans 5:8). This meant that despite all the mistakes that I had made and continue to make, God was still willing to sacrifice His own Son out of love for me.

Second, I learned that I am His workmanship and that I was created for good works (Ephesians 2:10). For me, this meant that all the good things that I did were not what gave my life value – my life had value simply because I was created by the God that created the universe. But, at the same time, it was not bad to want to do good things. In fact, the good works that God calls us to do are meant to be a reflection of Him, that others may see Him and His love through us.

My prayer for all of you is that you will know in your heart of hearts that God cares about and loves you deeply not because of what you have done but because you are His daughter, and there is nothing that you can do (or not do) to change that. Instead of doing all the “right things” in order to earn God’s love, do those things out of love for Him and in hopes that others will take notice of you and want to know more about the God that loves and cares about them too.

Want to get devotions in your inbox? Click here!