From my blog.
The Bible doesn’t say you were doing sort of well until God showed up who makes you sort of better.
The Bible says you were dead.
Before Jesus, every word you spoke was to impress people, give off an image, manipulate, dominate, terrorize, reciprocate, pretend you were someone you are not, get something out of someone, full of agenda and ulterior motives; you spoke out of guilt, fear, shame, anger, hurt, stress, anxiety, pressure; it was self-orbiting, self-centered, self-absorbed, self-serving, with no end goal; purposeless, aimless, directionless, a means to an end that was just another means, using and abusing, distorting, protecting yourself from trouble or exposure; always justifying, rationalizing, making excuses; without destiny or a destination; not building or lifting or encouraging for its own sake but making an empire for yourself that is collapsible the second your words were found to be false; which of course, they always were, because you were dead.
After Jesus, you were set free to joyfully serve others in the same way you were served; you didn’t need to fight for someone else’s approval because all your approval, validation, affirmation, qualification, and restoration was found in Him; you broke out of agendas and manipulation and conceitedness and self-indulgence; you considered other peoples’ interests better than your own; you didn’t need anything from anyone because your ultimate need was already fulfilled; you could speak truth without fear, grace without suspicion, love without expectation, encouragement without reparations, beauty without flattery; your speech was unencumbered and unhindered by the desperate impulse to impress your idols; your words had the divine calling to create, inspire, lead, exhort, edify, rebuke, discipline, confess, admit, be vulnerable, be real; your words were the aroma of Christ, the song of Heaven, a breath of fresh air; which of course, is not because of you, but because you were made alive.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
– Ephesians 2:1-7