MIND EXPERIMENT: All day every day, you are trying to have peace/joy. Perhaps the biggest part of this is feeling good about yourself (i.e., you are valuable, you are a good person, etc.). Now picture that you have TWO choices for where to go to try to get this “feeling good about yourself”. One would be to try to BEHAVE in a valuable, good way and then when you look upon your behavior (“works”), you will admire yourself, feel good about yourself. The other is to mentally picture dipping into (picture, perhaps, a ladle into a pot of some kind) an IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS(Google it, if you don’t know what this means) that is your property just because God gave it to you as a gift. And when you need a little of it to feel peace/joy, you just dip into it and drink from the ladle (this is how I envision it). The first way (above) seems like it would work but it doesn’t. The second way (above) seems like it wouldn’t work, but it does big time. Lots more to say. We should talk.
BTW, this is not always easy to do. It’s not easy to train yourself to think this way. Like, yesterday I got pretty angry at my wife when something she said offended me deeply (i.e., negatively evaluated my actions). But, it wouldn’t have offended me if I wasn’t counting on her opinion of me to make me feel OK about myself. But, this is all a growing process for me.