12/02/16 Roy about 23
Don't high school teachers get an automatic pass to heaven? I'm just kidding because I'm a high school teacher myself. But as absurd as it may sound, it is no more absurd than thinking that our good deeds in life will outweigh our bad. The Bible states "There is a way that seems right to a man…", and our common sense might seem to make it obvious that God's justice is like a giant heavenly balance scale, where our good is measured against our bad.
I began a good conversation, while shopping at a Target store, with a college student named Roy. He is preparing to be a high school teacher. He had attended a Jesuit high school, and told of their emphasis on community service and social justice here on Earth, without regard for reward or punishment hereafter. Roy welcomed the conversation because, as he put it, he just focuses on being a good person and ignores thoughts of heaven or hell. It was easy to ignore because he believes his dedication to serving others tilts the balance for him in favor of heaven and besides, a concern about heaven might taint the otherwise good things he does with selfish motives.
But does it? I asked him "What is selfish about wanting to be with God in Heaven?" The focus on heaven throughout the Bible is on honoring and serving God, not serving our own selfish interests. And as for the good things he trusts in to get him there, are they not to be expected of us anyway? Shouldn't we just do good because God gives us the health and energy and time to do so? The good we ought to do can't outweigh the bad we ought not do. Because of our sinful nature, the "way that seems right to a man" is actually the way of death, according to Proverbs 16:5. We vastly overestimate our goodness and underestimate God's holiness. Roy's confidence is based on his trust in his own goodness rather than trusting in the Savior. My prayer is for Roy to truly trust in Jesus as his Savior and to serve Him as a Christian educator so that hundreds of his future students might then see the light of Christ shining out through their teacher.