I’m a Christian.
Yep, I’m one of those die-hard Jesus Freaks. I believe that God is real, and the bible is true. I believe God created the Earth in 6 days. I believe that he gave us free will. And I believe that when we chose our own selfish desires over his limitless love, he sent his son Jesus to die, so that he could still save us from ourselves anyway.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
But don’t worry, I’m not here to preach the gospel to you.
Instead, I’m here to share how my beliefs play out in my day-to-day life, and what it actually looks like to be a Christian in my own tiny piece of the atmosphere. I’m here to tell you the truth about my faith. Why? Because our society seems to have a lot of opinions about Christianity. Some are accurate. Some are so awful and far from reality that it makes me want to throw soup cans at glass things and punch the internet whenever another “Starbucks-red-cup Gate” breaks out.
It seems people often allow the inaccurate and extreme actions of a few individuals to become their perception of “reality.” They let the radicals define their view of an entire population. And even when the masses try to breakdown these inaccurate depictions, the reputation remains tarnished. The voice of the majority is drowned out by the stereotypes already ingrained by the few extremists.
Because of this, lies are spread and unfair judgements are passed. When people find out I’m a Christian, they make assumptions. They think they know so much about me and what my life must look like, and oftentimes, they’re wrong. So, instead of assuming you know everything about how I live my life, I’d like the opportunity to tell you myself.
First things first.
Despite popular belief, I do NOT hate people who are gay, transgender, democrat, or who have had an abortion. As a matter of fact, I don’t hate anyone whose beliefs differ from mine. I am friends with many whose lifestyles I don’t necessarily agree with and whose beliefs I do not share. Why? Because even though I may disagree with or dislike a behavior, that does not imply I dislike the person. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most true Christians feel the same way. They do not hate homosexuals. They are not fearful of transgender. They are in no way “homophobic bigots.” They would gladly give the shirt off their back to anyone who needed it, and they do their very best to love others. And this is how I strive to live my life. So, please, stop calling me hateful.
To take it a step further, I’d even venture to say that by sharing my beliefs, my actions are actually the exact opposite of hateful (assuming my delivery method is appropriate). Let me explain with an example. If someone you cared about told you they were going to jump off a cliff – because in their heart, it just felt right – would you let them? If you knew that there were sharp rocks at the bottom and no possible chance of survival, would you just nod your head and walk away? Or, would you try and talk them out of it? Would you try to open their eyes to the truth? Would you do your darnedest to make sure they understood the repercussions of their actions before they made a decision? I sure hope you would.
And would you call me hateful in that situation – for sharing what I genuinely believe to be true with someone before they made a life-altering decision? No. And does sharing my beliefs mean I don’t love, that I dislike, or even hate that person? No. It means the complete opposite. It means I care about them. It means I do genuinely love them and care about their well-being. And even if they decide to jump off that cliff, despite my pleas, guess what? I still love them. I may not love their behavior or decisions, but I still love the person. And I would sure hope that anyone who claimed to care about me would do the same.
I do NOT think I’m better than anyone else or that I’m perfect, nor have I ever claimed to be. Even though I just got done telling you how I strive to love others, I don’t always succeed. I’m human. I screw up and make mistakes. I have a lot to learn. I let my emotions get the best of me. The truth is, I am acutely aware of my failures and shortcomings on a daily basis. I need forgiveness every day, my friends. I am not even capable of pretending to be perfect. I know that I am weak and a sinner, and that is precisely why I need Jesus in the first place. Because I will never be perfect or “good enough,” no matter how hard I try. Jesus’s sacrifice and gift of redemption is truly the only reason I’m worthy of saving, and I know it.
I am NOT super judgemental. No, I’m not judging you for who you hang out with. I’m not judging you for what you wear, how you spend your free time, or what you post on your Facebook page either. As a matter of fact, God specifically tells us in the bible that it is not our place to judge, but his alone:
“There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”
So, please stop assuming I am always judging everyone. And while you’re at it, STOP JUDGING ME TOO. (C’mon, don’t act like you didn’t judge me when you heard that I love submitting to my husband or that I didn’t live with my husband before we got married). Let’s face it, judging one another never does any good anyway. Only God can truly know our hearts.
I am a Christian, a Christ follower. It means that from the depths of my soul and in my inner-most being, I believe his teachings to be absolutely true. And this, I promise you: I will always do my very best to love others, no matter what they believe. This does not mean I will give up my beliefs in order to make another feel more comfortable, but I will still love that person despite our differences. Even though I’ll make mistakes, I’ll do my best to hear others out, not to judge, and to always extend grace.
I hope you’ll do the same for me.