What’s the point? What’s the point of being a good person? What’s the point of reading your Bible? What’s the point of going soulwinning? What’s the point of praying? What’s the point of trying to be a good Christian?
Seriously, why do we do it all?
Paul talks about this in Philippians 3:4–10:
4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Paul was an insanely good guy! If we met him, we’d be amazed about how good he was. He tells us in this passage that he was a Pharisee. The word Pharisee means, “set apart, separated.” Pharisees didn’t just want to practice Judaism in the temple; they wanted Jewish law to be applied to every activity of life including mundane ones! They did all this in order to sanctify everyday life. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen an orthodox Jew, but they are good people! Even more so, they’re devout at being a good. This was Paul— a devout, zealous good guy! Not a lot of us (maybe none of us) are as good of a person as Paul was.
We’ve established that Paul was good. But in verse 8, he says it was all pointless! In his words, he compared his goodness to loss and dung! All this righteousness that he had done was meaningless. All he wanted was to know God! That was all that mattered to him.
Being good doesn’t matter if we don’t have God. Being good without God is an empty, meaningless life. In fact it’s just as unfulfilling as a life in sin.
Sometimes we’re guilty of this as Christians! We’re saved, but we’re trying to be good without God. A friend of mine put it this way, “We focus so much on the results, we overlook the why to what we do.” This is so true! We overlook the why to what we do, and we lose Christ as a result.
I once read this story that struck a chord with me and illustrates this perfectly:
Whenever I am in a city, I make time to visit some of the cathedrals and great religious centers, whether Catholic or Protestant. In one city, a man took me around and told me, “These windows that you see are exact replicas of a famous cathedral in Europe. The artist went to Europe, copied with exquisite precision the stained-glass windows of that famous cathedral and brought them back to this country. This is a perfect replica of such and such cathedral, all of these beautiful stained-glass windows.”
Then he said something rather shocking. “I want to point out something to you. You notice here and there are what appear to be spots and splotches? Notice how down along the edge, close to the frame, there’s a bit of discoloration?”
I noticed this and told him so. “These windows are hundreds of years old and have stood for centuries, as nations and kingdoms rose and fell, and they naturally got washed only by the rains. Now they’ve collected on themselves a certain tarnish and discoloration and the dust of the centuries. There were those who believed that the dust and discoloration actually improved and mellowed the windows and made them look better than they were before. So when the artist went over to copy them, they did not wash the windows nor did they try to copy the windows without the dirt. But they copied dirt and windows so that what we have here is not only the artistry and the stained-glass windows of the cathedral, but we have in addition, perfectly reproduced, the centuries-old dust that gathered on the windows.”
Those windows are a perfect illustration of what happened with Israel, what happened with the Early Church of Christ, and what happened with every order that has ever been established and every new denomination that has ever been born out of an earnest desire to bring men to God. They become like those tarnished stained-glass windows. The dust of the centuries gets on them and becomes a part of their beliefs and part of their practices, so they are hardly able to tell which is of God and which is simply the accumulation of tarnish from the centuries.
Tozer, A. W. The Crucified Life: How To Live Out A Deeper Christian Experience (pp. 80–81).
What’s the point of being good if we don’t even know why we’re doing it? There isn’t a point. It’s just dust—it’s pointless. I’m not saying that we should all go and sin, but I’m saying we should stop trying to be good and start being godly. We should earnestly seek to know God more. He loves us and wants us to know Him! Paul devoted his life to the art of knowing God. This should be our soul drive in life as well—it should encompass our entire being.
“Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.” Everything we do, great or small, should lead us to know God more. Knowing God is the only point to life.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him…
Oh to know God more.