People who do not know any better cannot help seeing the good they do as their own and the truth they think as their own. The same applies to those who take credit for the good they do and feel that it makes them deserving. All the while they are unaware that the good is not good, even though it seems so, and that the sense of pride and personal merit they place in their deeds is an evil and a lie, which darkens and clouds their sight. The same applies in many other situations as well. The type and amount of evil and falsity that lies hidden within can never be seen as clearly during physical life as in the next life. There it stands out just as plain to see as in broad daylight.
The situation is different, though, if we commit the error out of an ignorance that has not yet hardened. In that case, the evils and falsities are easily shaken off. But if we reinforce the belief that we can do good and resist evil under our own power, and that we earn salvation by doing so, this attitude clings. It turns good into evil and truth into falsity.
Still, the proper method is for us to do good as if on our own. We should not throw up our hands thinking, “If I can’t do any good on my own, I ought to wait for direct inspiration; till then I should lie passive.” This too is wrong. Instead we should do good as if we were doing it on our own, but when we reflect on the good we are doing (or have done), we ought to think, acknowledge, and believe that the Lord working in us is actually doing the good. If we abandon all effort because of the kind of thinking mentioned, the Lord cannot work in us. He cannot act on those who rid themselves of every capacity for receiving the power to do good. It is like saying that you refuse to learn anything unless it comes to you as revelation. Or like saying that you refuse to teach anything unless the words are planted in your mouth. Or like refusing to try anything unless you can be propelled like an automaton. If this did happen, you would be still more resentful for feeling like an inanimate object. The reality is that what the Lord animates in us is that which seems to be ours. For instance, it is an eternal truth that life is not ours; but if it did not seem to be, we would have no life at all.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Page 406