Sunday, June 24, 2012

True Christian

I grew up in church, raised by parents who claim Christ, surrounded by friends who lived the same type of life.  The good life. There was a sprinkling of strife, a smattering of turmoil but life was mostly good, and overall safe. My childish checklist for being a true Christian was something like this:

1. Don't be bad

Well, that's not a terrible start. Is it?

It seemed to fall short as I grew up and made wrong choices, told lies, fought with friends, and acted ugly toward my parents.

In other words, I was bad.

So I figured I would never be a true Christian. I quit worrying so much about my checklist for a while.  I still had feelings of guilt and unworthiness but decided that my singular rule was simply too hard to live up to.

I stumbled along that way, through marriage and motherhood, crippled by my one rule. That rule, don't be bad,  was like my own personal troll following me around whispering the rule in my ear every time I lost my temper, had ugly thoughts, said hateful words. It was so easy to fail under that one-rule standard.

God, all that time, was drawing me closer to him. Through the Word I began to discover an amazing truth:

Under the authority of Christ my human rule, 'Don't Be Bad ', was broken, on the cross, to read
'Do Good'

I read in Romans 12:9-21 what a true Christ-follower would look like:

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love on another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality. 
Bless those who persecute you; bless an do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, 'if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.' Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

Reading that passage I saw that there were only a few 'do nots' and lots and lots of 'do's'. While the to-do list  more often than not feels out of reach, reading the preceding 'do not' verses in Romans 12:1b-2 teaches me how this list is achievable.  "...present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,  so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect."  So being a non-conformist is the name of the game, and giving everything I have to God will get me where I need to be. Check.

I learned that being a Christian is not about who I am, where I came from, or what I do.

I learned that being a Christian is about who Christ is, why he came, and what he did for me. 

Also, I've discovered that I like Jesus' checklist  far better than mine.  He just says:


Follow me.



  1. true
    from your mama

  2. Awesome! It's like you got inside my head and made sense of how I feel...Thanks for taking the time to blog it!

  3. i really liked it!