Between my freshman and sophmore years in college, the chairman of the music department changed, and, since I was studying music at the time, I cared! It ended up being good, however. The professor who was there before was one of the godliest men I ever met, but he was also very intimidating. The very first paper I wrote in one of his classes, he trashed pretty good. His criticism was valid, but I just couldn’t relate to him. I was always trying to live up to what I thought he wanted from me, but I never could. I liked him, but I couldn’t get very close to him.
But in my sophmore year, his replacement came. Now, you never had to wonder where this guy stood. It was usually written all over his face. We had a good relationship. He was the kind of guy who didn’t care much for conventional wisdom and was always pushing the envelope. I still remember the day I had to talk to him about something and I was in his office talking and he said “Keep on talking, I have to change my pants, and right there in the middle of the office, he just changed his pants. Now it was private and there was nothing at all inappropriate, but that’s just the kind of guy he was. He was very accepting and very down to earth. I got close to him and, because of that, I worked hard for him.
Now some people relate to God like I related to the first guy. They live their lives either ignoring Him because they think they could never live up to His standards (which, by they way, is true) or they spend their lives trying to perform for Him, but really not being very close to Him. Others, (and these are the believers with genuine joy in their hearts and genuine smiles on their faces), they give up performance and, like Paul, find something so much better. They find a relationship. They stop performing.