Good and Bad
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We may still feel like we're basically good people. Yes, our lives may have gotten a bit out of control, but the good we've done surely outweighs the bad. Maybe we don't need to turn our lives over to Jesus Christ and accept him as our Savior. Perhaps we can just make amends for the wrongs we've done and do our best to be good in the future. Then everything will be fine.
Maybe not! The Bible doesn't say that God weighs our good deeds out against our bad. Here's what God says: "For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws" (James 2:10). " ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God's Book of the Law.' So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life' " (Galatians 3:10-11). "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
The Bible makes it clear that if we reject Jesus Christ's payment for our sins, we will have to pay the debt ourselves. The only acceptable payment is death. Not even a lifetime of our good deeds is enough to make amends for the bad deeds we've done, no matter how few they may be.
The Cross frees us from having to be "good," so we can freely admit we are bad.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.