"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." Ephesians 2:8-9
We live in a very performance-based world. Performance can result in more success, which equals more money. And although we should be diligent and hard working, is our success or lack thereof all because of us?
Sometimes we think we can earn our salvation because of our efforts. But the reality is, we received grace -- and that's it! We do things Christ would want us to do out of our love for Him, due to our revelation of His love for us, so that others might experience the same abundant life. "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." John 10:10
It is so easy to come from a place of performance, instead of coming from a place of grace, what we have already received. Do you know all you received when you chose to believe that Jesus died for your sins? We can so easily think that our success is our doing. Yes we did the "working hard" part --- but without God, our efforts would have been fruitless!
If we don't have an understanding of grace before works, we can become religious or succumb to workaholism, thinking that our efforts lead to salvation. On the other hand, if we lean to heavily on grace, we can become lazy, lacking excellence. Having grace and works in our lives leads to fruitfulness.
The apostle Paul said, "But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace." -1 Corinthians 15:10
Do you have a balance in your life between works and grace?