Is it possible that trying to be good could actually be a bad thing? Consider this.
A student is working on a monster calculus problem. About half way through it becomes apparent that an error has been made. Somewhere there is a miscalculation. What can be done?
Should they double their efforts? Can they strive to avoid future mistakes? Of course not. If an error has been made, it doesn’t matter how precise their calculations are from that point on, they will always end up with the wrong answer. The equation requires perfection. You do not judge a math equation hoping the good outweighs the bad. It’s all connected. If one part is wrong then none of it is right.
Life is like this equation. If errors have been made (and they have); any future effort is pointless. Trying to “be good” from here on out (which is impossible anyway) is futile. So in this scenario, trying to being good is … um, actually bad. If a life has wrongs, then it will never be right. All of us have miscalculated. All of us are wrong answers waiting to happen.
So what can be done? We can’t just erase everything and start over. Or can we?
God requires perfection. God requires that your life, your equation, must be right. Well, I think we’ve established that that ship has sailed.
That is precisely why God sent his Son Jesus Christ. Through Christ, God has erased the blackboard and completed our equation perfectly through the life, death and resurrection of his Son. Now any person that places their faith in Jesus Christ; their faith is counted as righteousness. In other words, Jesus Christ turns in his work with your name on it.
Or, you can continue to try really hard to make an incorrect equation turn out right.