I am a Christian.
That’s a confession that can bring up a lot of different responses. Some people are immediately turned off, others are on the defensive or curious to know more. A few think they’ve found a kindred spirit. Suspicions run high. Fellow Christians may be the most suspicious. We’ve begun to shun the word “Christian” as a negative brand. The new terms are “Believer” or “Christ-Follower”. The judgment meter usually comes out to see how I measure up to their preconceived notions.
Another confession–it evokes a lot of different emotions in me to share that bit of information. Telling the secret makes me feel as if I’ve got something to prove—it definitely makes me want to act nicer and to be more “Christlike” towards those I’ve told. That usually just comes across as fake and doesn’t impress anyone. It makes me nervous because I don’t always measure up too well on my own meter-o-judgement so I figure I won’t pass anyone else’s test either.
I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, being baptized when I was just five years old. For most of that time it hasn’t had much of an impact on my life. I’ve had the same struggles I image everyone has. I’ve felt guilty about them. I’ve prayed about them. I’ve repented over them and I’ve tried to change some of them. I figured I had the eternal salvation thing sewed up but was pretty clueless on how it worked for the 80 or so years until heaven.
My concerns have been more temporal: extra pounds, bills, relationships, crappy bosses, bad jobs. The Christian’s guidebook—the Bible—isn’t much use for that stuff, is it? Mostly it made me feel condemned. Wasn’t exactly living up to the whole “love your neighbor as yourself thing”. Most of my attempts to be a better Christian lasted about as long as my latest diet—from breakfast until lunch.
But lately I’m learning that the Bible really is a Christian’s guidebook—anybody’s guidebook really as it has some amazing principles for living. Even better, I’ve found out that ETERNAL LIFE isn’t something that starts after you die! Most all Christians agree that Jesus died for our sins and that gives us forgiveness and a ticket to heaven. A deeper look reveals that He paid for so much more! Once the sin barrier was broken, we could have it all! Health, prosperity—all the things we’re chasing! Just as we had to accept our after-death salvation, we have to believe in and accept each gift.
Fighting words! The Christian community is sharply divided on all this and some even call it heresy. This is a place for discovery and discussion.
My first goal is to know and love Christ more. My second is to understand the way He intended the world to work and how I can get on board with that to bring more success to my life. The third is to teach others what I’ve learned—to reach both those who’ve rejected Christ and those who’ve accepted the salvation message but want more victory in their here-on-earth life.
Let the adventure begin.