Will Rogers once said, “So live that you would not be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”
That makes good sense to me, but it should, because the original teaching came long before Will Rogers was born. The Apostle Peter taught us that we should “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.”
I guess the main difference that stands out in God’s Word is that we don’t need a parrot to reveal our secrets, but anytime we are accused, the world should see us behave honorably… And that brings glory and honor to God, not us. Motives matter.
So… Why are you trying so hard to appear good before others? The Bible teaches that there is no one Good, but God (Matthew 10:18), and why do you try to be righteous in your own power when God says that our very best is the same as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). The only thing we really need to do is fall totally in love with the ONE who gave His life for us… To join Him in the crucifixion of our own will, just as He did when He went to the cross. I love the way Paul put it in his letter to the Galatians, He said, “But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” (Galatians 2:17-21)
So, if it is FREEDOM that you want, then free yourself of the rules and regulations that bind you to your own achievements, and accomplishments, and trust Jesus to be your Righteousness and goodness. It’s not about whether you have ever said a prayer, it’s about whether you have ever truly, completely given your life to Him. Once you do, you can enjoy the peace, love, joy, and hope that He gives to those who follow Him. (Galatians 5:22) Will you surrender your all to Him today?