8/21 Galatians 2:16

16 Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Everyone should desire that God be pleased with their actions, but no one should expect their actions to justify them before God. That is because we are all born with a fallen nature which we inherited from Adam. Try as we may, some of our thoughts and actions are rooted in rebellion against God. No amount of good deeds will pay for the evil we think and act on. Good actions are what we are supposed to do. They don't earn salvation. They don't pay for the bad deeds. God has a right to expect His creation to do what He commands. All His commands culminate in receiving Jesus as our Savior.

Justification before God is only made possible by faith in what Jesus did for us. If we believe in His act of taking our sins upon Himself and receiving the punishment we deserve for those sins, we are justified before God.

Many of the religious people of the time Paul wrote didn't like this concept, and some today don't either. They think keeping God's law is making up for their sin. Secular people today think that being a "good person" will get them into heaven. Neither group realizes the justice of God demands payment. All God's commands are fulfilled in accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior. There is nothing anyone can do that makes up for hating someone. To be kind to them and forgive them is what you should do. The debt of the hatred is only covered by the work of Christ on the cross.

Consider: The more we realize how indebted we are to Jesus for what He did for us, the more we love and appreciate Him.