Do you go to church? Do you read your Bible and pray? Do you tithe a monthly amount or give money to a charity? Do you do your best to be kind to others?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, that's great. These are all things that God instructs us to do, but why do we do them?
I constantly have to remind myself that these things that I do, should ultimately be because I want a better relationship with my heavenly Father and I want to bring honor to Him. I shouldn't be simply checking these things off my list as part of a routine, so I can pat myself on the back and feel better about myself. The reason for this is because, no matter how many things we do right, we still fall short and do things wrong all the time.
Yes, God wants us to do these things and more, but that's not what our relationship with him is based off of. If it was, then it would not be much of a relationship. You see, God knows that we will fail time and time again, but he knows our hearts. He knows if we desire to to the right thing or if we are just doing something just to do it, so that we look good to others.
I love what it says in Matthew chapter six verses three and four...
3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
This can be applied to all you do really, because it's about your growing relationship with Christ, and how you are working to know Him better. It's not about what others think of you or how good of a Christian you are. It's about bringing honor and glory to Him in all that you do, even when you mess up. It still brings Him glory when you humble yourself before Him and ask for His forgiveness. You know why? Because it brings you closer to Him and it shows your heart. It shows your desire to want to do what is right.
I have a tattoo of a scripture verse on my foot from Philippians, and I had a person in a doctor's office ask me about it once. I told them what the verse was and they responded with, "Well, if you are a Christian and believe in God, doesn't it say in the Bible that it is a sin to get a tattoo?" Without going into too deep of a conversation, I acknowledged her reference to the old testament and I kindly told her that it also states in Colossians that, whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do all to the glory of God, giving thanks to the Father. I explained that my tattoo was a constant reminder of His presence in my life and that by having this tattoo it provides a way for me to share Christ and how He is my strength.
Friends, I encourage you today, not to worry about the list of things you should do to be a "good" Christian. It's not about how you look to others. It's about a loving relationship with Christ and I assure you, just as the Bible says, whatever it is that you do in life, as long as it glorifies God, your relationship will continue to grow and He will continue to bless you each and every day.