Session 9

When nothing you do is good enough

From Galatians: An 11-Day Devotional

Have you ever been in a relationship where nothing you did was ever good enough? If you have, you know it’s frustrating, exhausting, and often heartbreaking. The eventual outcome is that we stop trying, or worse, become bitter toward others and doubtful of our own self worth.

If you’re experiencing the pain of a no-win relationship, here’s some good news: You never have to work to earn God’s acceptance. In fact, it’s impossible to earn it (Ephesians 2:8-9). Human nature leads us to think we have to obey certain rules to get God to accept us. But obeying rules doesn’t draw us close to God; it makes us slaves to the rules.

The Bible says when we were God’s enemies He sent Jesus to save us. He loved us when we didn’t care about Him. He loved us when we were doing sinful things. Through Jesus, God brings us into His family. The Holy Spirit changes us on the inside and makes us children of God, not robotic rule followers (Galatians 5:1).

What does matter to God is that Christians demonstrate their faith by showing to others the same kind of love He first showed us (Galatians 5:6). He wants us to love people who are far from God just as they are. He wants us to love them enough to point them to Jesus.


  • When was the last time you tried to earn someone’s approval? How did that process make you feel?
  • God is not like us. He loves unconditionally. What’s one way has God shown His love for you this week?
  • What’s one way you can love someone at home, work or school the same way God loves you — without expecting anything in return?

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