Q: If we’re sure to be bad Christians no matter how hard we try, why should we try at all? It all seems so pointless.
A: We ought to try hard to love God and serve our neighbor, but we don’t do these things to become better Christians in this world or brighter saints in the world to come. We do them because God deserves our love and our neighbors need our service. Unlike self-help programs, the Gospel frees us from ourselves, our failures, our successes, and best of all, from our performance reviews! Have you ever been on a diet? Oh, what a life! You become obsessed with results. Every morning you wake up worried about what the bathroom scale is going to read. If you’re down a pound or two, you’re giddy; if you’re the same, you’re disappointed; but if your weight is up, you fall into despair and turn to the fridge for comfort. The Christian life is not a diet, it’s a feast! What Christ has done for us is so good we don’t think about our enjoyment of it, but the thing itself, and in doing that, we truly enjoy it.
Do your best. Accept your failures. Trust the Lord. Enjoy your life.