Let me explain

Religions are about following rules and regulations, trying to meet some sort of standard in order to receive a reward—prosperity, health, a place in Heaven. Contrary to popular belief, this system of “earned rewards” is of no interest to God.

I know what you’re thinking. God has rules, right? The Torah (Books of Moses) lists 613 of them, starting with the familiar ten commandments.

And you’re right. But almost all of God’s commands can be compared to parents’ rules for their children. Parents guide their children not so they can be good—but for their own good—for the benefit of their well-being. When a parent tells a child not to touch a hot stove, it is to protect the child from getting burned—not to enforce some sort of arbitrary set of rules.

God has instituted certain rules for our protection, but they are useless when it comes to “being good.” Why? Because no one can obey each and every rule, every day, for their entire life!

In the Book of Isaiah, the Scriptures say that, “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” to Him (see Isaiah 64:6).

Why? Why would our good deeds repel God? Doesn’t He command us to do good things? Doesn’t He want us to do good?

It’s not possible to be good. A single bad deed, an impure thought, is enough to ruin an otherwise “good” life. No matter how hard you might try, you can never live a perfect life by God’s standards.

Feeling pretty discouraged at this point? There is hope.

While being good isn’t possible for us, there is something else that is possible: to have a good relationship with Him. Just as a father loves his child in spite of bad behavior, God loves us in spite of our imperfect lives. And because of that love, He wants to be in a relationship with us.

The problem . . .