I can't tell you the number of times I've heard some form of the following:
"Being a good person doesn't get you into Heaven."
Ignoring the fact that the parable of the sheep and the goats, one could argue, says exactly the opposite - I think this is a line worth thinking a bit more about.
It seems like this line is one of those that can't be taken at face value or out of context. It demands to know some intention and some periphery information.
1. Said to the drug addicted pedophile as an affirmation that his life has not been wasted and is not worthless, I love this line.
2. Said to the rich Western with 8.4 million in the bank who has never given a dollar away but does love Jesus, I do not like this line.
3. Said to the teen mom kicked out of her church at 15, I love this line.
4. Said to the Muslim who has dedicated her life to helping orphans, I do not like this line.
5. Said about Donald Trump but not about Obama or said about Obama but not about Trump, I do not like this line.
So, here's the thing with this line:
If it's ever an excuse to not do something, it's terrible.
If it's ever a reason to encourage someone, it's beautiful.
If it's ever used to make someone better than another, it's ugly.
If it's ever used to minimize generosity and a sacrifice for humanity, it's evil.
If it's ever used to prop up your person and tear down their person, it shouldn't be used.
In a way, it goes like this: what you do matters! But, don't worry, if you don't think you've done enough, you probably have. But, if you think you've done enough, maybe you haven't. And if you judge people by what they do or don't do, and assume that what you do matters more than what they do because they believe some different things than you do, well, be careful.
Said another way, there isn't some level of doing or not doing that gets you anything, but there is a letting go of the whole game that will bring you life. And if you let go of that game, you'll defintiley end up doing plenty.