As I was rejoicing yesterday, knowing that the worst part of the last 8 months was over, I came across this article about all the reasons why Christians don’t evangelize and I thought, well I wouldn’t be this happy without God, so I should probs tell ALLLLL my readers(that means you mama and sister) about my relationship with Jesus too (not just my relationship with all the bros/douchebags in LA).
I’m no Joel Osteen, thank god, but I think a taste into my life and my walk with Christ may give some perspective into understanding me and maybe understanding why Jesus is my go to guy.
This may help you, friend of mine, understand why you think I’m “brave” or “strong” for moving away or facing cancer in my family. Answer: I’m not a strong, brave person. I wish I was that big of a badass, but it’s not me. It’s the man upstairs (Philippians 4:13).
This may help you, potential acquaintance who had no idea I was a Christian(shame on me), understand why you think I’m not “good enough” to be a Christian. Answer: I’m a sinner. I’m not good, but I(and you) are “good enough” for God to send down his only son to die for our sins. That’s why God’s grace (Acts 14:3) is such an amazing thing.
So here it goes, a testimony of sorts:
I am not your typical Christian, affluent girl, who grew up going to church every Sunday and whose dad prayed before meals in public, like most people who know I am christian think of me (probably). Instead, my sister and I were taught to choose our own religion and faith. I could be a crystal worshiper right now if I wanted, but instead I started attending Camp Ozark with my bestie Lizard at age 7. It was the go-to choice because of the water weanie (duh). Who knew that the choice to whip around the lake on a large inflateable at age 7 would lead me to Christ. Ozark is where I started to really learn about Jesus and where I accepted Christ into my heart before freshman year of high school. That’s when the real walk, a 1 step forward, 3 steps back waltz-like walk with Christ began.
That’s the cliff notes version above, I will delve into more detail below using the article for help. After reading it the 1st time I thought, “Woof. That’s me. And not in a good way.” So, I decided to break it down for you. Why evangelizing is hard, the kidcuddle version:
we fear controversy
After deciding I wanted to be a practicing Christian at camp, my hippy, conservative (seems like an oxymoron, but it’s 100% truth) parents supported me in whatever religious choice I wanted, but didn’t nessicarily have the same views. Meaning conversations about religion were interesting in our house hold and usually resulted in the tears. Is my heaven one without my parents and sister? NO.Will it be have to be if they don’t accept christ into their hearts? YES.
I by no means ever want to force my faith on anyone…so it’s finding that happy medium and helping the people I love find the salvation I rejoice in daily, without controversy. Talk about difficult.
we are ashamed
I went to a large public high school. We had it all, including the Popular Kids, theDrugies, the Nerds, the Jew Crew and the Bible Beaters. Here’s the thing, I hated the way the Bible Beaters treated me and my friends. In particular older girls who treated my friends like they were less, because of the choices we were making. * ahem, we are all sinners, bible beaters forgot to read the bible (Romans 3:23). I’m sorry that we don’t all wait until our wedding day to kiss our husbands or to taste alcohol until we are 21.
These people had a tendency to make christianity look unfun and extremely condescending. This made the me in high school afraid to share or want to follow Christ.
**I also want to acknowledge I have been the condescending one at times, for that, I am deeply sorry.
we are afraid we don’t know enough
Y’all, I just had to google, “who was eaten by the whale in the bible” because I was going to make a reference about how I didn’t know the stories. I wasn’t raised in the church and I grew up not loving to read, therefore, all I know is what they tell me at church on Sundays. This is exciting for me because I am constantly learning and yearning for more, but also makes me fearful to talk to people who may try and bible verse challenge me..guess what, I don’t know, but clearly, google does…it was Jonah in the whales stomach btw.
This is why in “church friend” circles, I tend to get nervous. I know what I believe and why I believe it, but I am oddly terrified to talk to people who know a lot about christianity about it. I’m getting better and I definitely have people I love to talk to about my faith with and learn from, but I need to be unashamed and unafraid.
we don’t really care
I say Relevant Magazine might have just added it in because 5 makes for a better story than 4. This one doesn’t really pertain to me that much, I do care. Sometimes I care less than others, but I always care.
we are taking a “lifestyle evangelism” approach
““We will show them we are Christians by our love” is a common expression Christians use that describes the concept that actions speak louder than words.” This is something I say often, but my actions of dancing on elevated surfaces, cursing like a sailor, making out in public(sorry mom and dad), don’t always scream “I LOVE JESUS!” With that said, loving to work with kids, telling people we shouldn’t talk badly about a girl being a slut if we don’t know the whole story and going to church, don’t always scream “I LOVE JESUS” either. Like the article says, the “good person” traits we have don’t always show people we love and know Jesus. I know TONS of GREAT people who don’t(but I wish would) love and know Jesus.
To me this is the most convicting of the 5, not because I proclaim to be living a life like Jesus, therefore I don’t have to talk about him. But because when I am dancing on tables, while screaming curse words, while making out with random boys *mom that’s not real, not even humanly possible* and am being the sinner that god made me, I’m not being the Christian god saved to go help spread the good news. I am not being “relatable” like I have claimed to be in the past. I am being broken, which is real. I am having a good time, which is also real, but I’m not really glorifying God and I am definitely not spreading his word.
New goal, I can spread the word by actually telling others about Jesus and why I desire a life that glorifies him(Matthew 28:19-20). And also because I could probs dance on less tables.
Alright y’all, there it is, the long and the short of my faith and where I am today. This was surprisingly hard to share, but I would love to know y’all thoughts. Remember, I’m still learning, still not-so gracefully waltzing with Jesus and am still thankful daily that I have a God who loves me enough to watch and guide me through this crazy life I lead.