Joe Stanley is a proud Texan from San Antonio. He has 25 years of experience in small church pastoral ministry. He has a degree in Christian Education, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, a Master of Divinity and is currently working on his Doctor of Ministry. He and his wife Glenda have 2 children and 1 grandchild.
That is actually a great question. While I cannot speak to you personally since that is between you and God, I can answer your question in general terms. In order to answer your question we need to consider both cultural expectations and biblical expectations and keep in mind that they do not always agree. As a conservative Christian, I believe that the Bible should inform us about our faith and we should not rely on opinion- no matter how popular- to guide us in our faith.
It is true that in our culture it is commonly believed that as long as you do not hurt or offend others you are a good person. That is actually true culturally. As long as I do what is expected of me and do not hurt or offend others (meet cultural expectations), then my co-workers, friends and family will view me as a good person.
However, the Bible has a different view of this. There are many verses that speak to this, but I will choose only one since Jesus said it.
And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone’ (Mark 10:18 ESV)
According to Jesus, no one is good or can be good enough to meet God’s expectations. That is why we needed Jesus. If we could be good enough on our own without Jesus, then he would not have had to come and die.
We can never be good enough, do enough good deeds, give enough money, or go to church enough or anything else to earn God’s favor. We can only experience God’s favor if we accept the free gift of His son Jesus Christ. Even then we are still not good since we still have a sin nature, but we do have Jesus to bring us into a right relationship with God.
However, once we have that right relationship with God, we should try to live by what the Bible teaches us. We need to try and make those changes in our lives not to earn God’s favor, but because we have His favor and we want to please the Father. To help us to accomplish this, we should pray and read our Bible every day and find a community of believers that we can join for fellowship and encouragement.