How to Earn God's Favor

March 21, 2024 | Chelsea Olson

What if I told you that you could earn God’s favor? Whether it be through good works, hard work, the amount you serve, the amount you give, or how much you do for others. I am sure you’re reading this thinking, “WOW, this sounds too good to be true,” and I must tell you… you’re right. You cannot EARN God’s favor.

Hang with me for a minute and allow me to explain. This world constantly encourages us to work hard and that, the harder you work, the more recognition you will get. We wear “busy” as a badge of honor and, if we aren’t busy, we must be lazy. This world also tries to get us to believe that if we are a good person that is enough and will make us feel like WE are enough. The truth is that the more we fill this void in our hearts with DOING, the more you will begin to realize that no amount of “doing” will make you feel fulfilled… no amount will make you feel like you’re enough.

I have grown up in church my whole life and I have witnessed this lived out by a lot of different people. Do you want to know who I would have NEVER thought would fall prey to this? ME. Goodness, was that was a tough pill to swallow. You see, I am a very busy person. I don’t like the quiet, I want to do things for others constantly, and have dedicated a lot of my life to the church. While none of these are “bad things”, I came to realize that my constant need for DOING and my desire for perfection were linked to something deeper. On this journey of relentlessly pursuing Jesus, sometimes we get lost along the way and forget passages like Matthew 19:30 that talks about the first being last, and last being first.

I was listening to a podcast by Annie F. Downs on Enneagram 1s, which I identify with most, and she suggested a song that was written in the perspective of an Enneagram 1. Being that music is something I connect with deeply and it is the way in which God speaks and reveals things to me, I looked up the song. Listening to “One” by Sleeping at Last made me feel exposed and it pointed out a lot of things I had thought but never put words to.

The list goes on forever

Of all the ways I could be better, in my mind

 As if I could earn God’s favor given time” 

I have lived in this vortex and believed that the more I did and the more perfect I was earned me God’s favor. If I wasn’t “good enough”, it meant that He would be disappointed in me. This next line helped me to realize this issue and work on it.

“Cause I’ve spent my whole life searching desperately

 To find out that grace requires nothing

Grace requires nothing of me”


No amount of doing or perfection would fill this void because it wasn’t something I needed to EARN; it was something that I needed to RECEIVE.

Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Grace saves us, not good works. Jesus saves us, not ourselves. If we truly want to become more like Jesus that requires us to do what Jesus did, be still with God. To rest in His presence. So, where do you need to stop striving and START LIVING in His presence? It is in Him that you will be reminded that though we may not be enough, but I AM is enough!


I AM enough.


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Kingsway Christian Church
7981 E County Road 100 N | Avon, Indiana 46123