"So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say. "We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do"" (Luke 17:10).
Car parts aren't perfect. I f you go to automotive school, they will teach you about "specifications" and "tolerances." A cylinder, for example, ought to be perfectly round. But none are. Even the best will be flawed a ten-thousandth of an inch or so. Car makers require that parts be within "tolerances." That is, they can be imperfect up to a point; but beyond that point they are rejected. A degree of imperfection can be tolerated, but not more than that. Parts must meet at least "minimum standards."
I understand why car parts are allowed to be slightly flawed. If we demanded near absolute perfection from each part, cars would cost a million dollars each. We err, however, when we try to apply "minimum standards" to Christianity.
People, like car parts, aren't perfect. Our "specifications" are set out in the Bible, but even the best of us fall short of them. Yet, we dare not think that God will be pleased if we seek merely to meet "minimum standards" as we serve Him.
What is the least I can do and still go to Heaven? What is the minimum I can be while still escaping eternal torment? Can I squeak by with Sunday-morning-only attendance habits? No doubt Bible classes are good, but are they absolute necessities; would I be outside of "tolerances" if I skipped them? What is the least amount of Bible reading and study I must do each week while still not dying of spiritual starvation? What is the least amount I can give to the Lord's cause and still be within the specifications? How many sins can I commit each day without jeopardizing my soul? How infrequently may I pray without cutting myself off from God?