As a teenager, I often heard about God. I went to a Christian high school that taught the word of God. During that time, I thought about giving my life to God, but for some reason, I just could not make that step. The truth is, I had several preconceived ideas about what Christianity looked like. Looking back, I have come to realize that not only was I dead wrong, I was completely deceived. Today I want to share my thoughts about Christianity then and my thoughts about Christianity now.
- Christianity is boring and for old people
Then: I was young and life was fun. I felt like I had my entire life ahead of me. All I wanted to do was live and enjoy it. I thought Christianity would get in the way of this life full of adventure. On several occasions I told myself that I would give God a chance when I was older, already married, had kids, and ready to settle down. In other words, I would try Christianity when I was old.
Now: A life with Christ is the most exciting experience of my life. God has blessed me with a community and my idea of fun has changed. Fun is hanging out and fellowshipping with those that I love. Walking with Christ has no way interfered with me having a good time. Not only that, life with Christ is fulfilling. Never in my life have i felt safer, more secure, and loved by anyone or anything. As a matter of fact, I now wish I had given my life to Christ all those years ago. Without a doubt, I would have made better decision because the all-knowing God would have guided me to make the best choices.
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.”
Ecclesiastes 12: 1 (NLT)
- Christianity is a bunch of rules and restrictions
Then: Don’t lie. Don’t steal. No sex before marriage. Rules! Rules! Rules! Christianity felt like a whole lot of do’s and dont’s. At that point in my life, I did not like the idea of following any rules, much less Gods rule. I did not see the value or reason for rules other than it meant that I could not do what I wanted. What I wanted was enticing. While deep down and inwardly, I knew it was wrong, it felt good to be unrestricted…at least I thought.
Now: Christianity is much more about relationship than rules. I’m not saying that there are not guidelines, but love and relationship with God helps me to understand two things. First off, God is madly in love with me in a way that I cannot even comprehend. Because of this, everything that He tells me not to do is actually for my benefit. I’ve come to realize that God is not trying to take anything from me, but He is trying to give me His best. At times that may require not doing what I think is best for myself. God sees the overall picture and simply knows better. Secondly, I love God as best as I humanly know how. I want to always love and please God, therefore I don’t view His guidelines as rules. It’s sort of like being married. I don’t look at being faithful to my husband as a rule. I love him, therefore faithfulness comes naturally. It’s the same with God.
…“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’…
-Luke 10:27 (NIV)
If you love me, obey my commandments.
- Christians are all perfect
Then: I thought being a Christian meant that I would have to be perfect. Therefore there was no way I could be a Christian. I figured that I would have to get my life together first. Stop having sex, stop drinking, stop cursing, I mean just stop sinning completely and then come to God. Because of this, I felt unqualified to be a Christian because this benchmark was just too high. I figured eventually, when I got there, then I can officially give my life to the Lord.
Now: I am so grateful I didn’t wait until I cleaned myself up, because I never would have been able to do it. Every time I did something wrong, I thought, “this is the last time.” The last time did not come until after I surrendered my life to God. If humanity had the ability to overcome sin on their own, then God would have had no need to send Jesus to die for us. God knew that we were in need of help and a Saviour. This is why without Jesus, the last time could never be the last time.
As a teenager, one day I actually asked my Bible teacher, does being a Christian mean that I have to be perfect? His response has stuck with me to this very day. He said, “Being a Christian does not mean that you are sinless, but you sin less”. That answer was the perfect way to describe Christianity. God is not asking for perfection. He is simply asking you to submit and come to Him just the way you are. He will do the rest.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
Welp! That’s the end of our trip down memory lane. If you have had some thoughts about Christianity only later to find out you had it all wrong, drop some comments below. I love you guys!
As always….Be strong, Be Courageous, Serve God Wholeheartedly