I am a Christian.
I have a really hard time with Christianity.
I believe it is true with all of my heart. I believe in Creation, the fall, redemption, Christ’s resurrection from the grave, the miracles Christ did, the Bible, I believe that God hears and answers prayer and that he loves everyone. What I have a hard time believing is that God cares for me. I know it isn’t exactly logical to believe everything about Christianity except that God loves me, and it’s so unbelievably conceited to think that I’m out of God’s reach. But knowing that God. Loves. Me. is something that I need to be reminded of constantly.
I also have a really hard time living out my beliefs. I don’t really act like a Christian. I mean, I’m definitely all for kindness and whatnot, but…I don’t separate myself from the world very well. I love music and my favorites are mostly non Christian. I’ve read (and liked) blasphemous books like DaVinci Code (note: it was very exciting, but I didn’t believe any of it – I read it to see what the big to-do was about and I liked it, but disagree with the theology). I watch movies that tend to have atheistic worldviews. Actually, I probably live like an atheist. I’m not saying that atheists are heathens or anything, but Christians are supposed to be set apart – you should know them by their fruits – and I’m not sure you can tell with me.
Part of me wonders if it has to do with growing up in a Christian home. I’m not blaming my parents for my struggles. I know they are my own. But my redemption story doesn’t feel like much.
I’ve spent a lot of time with my extended family lately, which means I’ve seen them live out their Christian lifestyles and heard stories of both their coming to Christ and their lives before – lives that include drugs and fights and near death experiences and getting married twice in one year to the same person (kind of). They’ve told me of the drastic changes in their lives. I wonder if Christianity means so much more to my parents and aunts and uncles because they went through a much more drastic change than I ever did. I grew up in a Christian family, I grew up going to church, I grew up going to AWANAS and memorizing scripture. I’ve always been interested in apologetics and have devoted time to studying what makes Christianity true and others not. (I have probably done more biased research, but I am completely confident that Christianity is true). I’m so glad I grew up the way I did. I have a good foundation in the Bible and in Christianity, so I’m decently armed for conversations and confrontations.
But I wonder if growing up in Christianity makes it harder. It’s hard to feel saved when you’ve grown up in salvation. Like a fish wouldn’t know he’s wet. I know Christianity and salvation are much more than that, it’s just an example.
I’m talking as if I’ve never had any redemption sort of experience, but I have. I’ve asked Christ into my heart probably five hundred times, just to be safe. I used to always be mad at Christians when they’d talk about the peace that washed over them when they asked Jesus into their lives, and how clean and new they felt, because I’d never felt that before. When I went to San Diego in March, however, and got baptized, I felt that. I had been so angry at everyone that week, especially God. But towards the end of the week I got baptized, very much on a whim, and after being terrified that I hadn’t been serious and God was going to strike me down, I felt so much cleaner, and new. Nearly all of the struggles I’d been having completely disappeared. I had different struggles, but I also had Jesus for what felt like the very first time. I wanted to read my Bible. I remember wanting to skip class so I could sit outside and read my Bible. I actually might have done that once or twice…
But somewhere along the line all of that changed. I went back to what I was. My old struggles came back – to a lesser extent, thank goodness. I’ve almost completely forgotten what God did for me. And boy, was I bubbling over when it happened! I remember talking about Jesus because I wanted to – and I couldn’t help it! I wasn’t forcing it to look Christian!
It’s amazing how easy it is to forget. It’s amazing how hard it is to go back.
Anyway. That’s just something that’s been on my mind. How easy it is for me to forget or ignore God...
Feel free to ask if you have any questions.