Monthly Archives: October 2011

(il)Legitimate Christians?

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It really frustrates me when people who claim to be Christians live contrary to what they claim to believe, causing non-believers to scorn the cross and tear apart everything Jesus came to do. In my Arabic class, there was a discussion going on about the Islamic religion and Christianity. They (all non-believers) tore apart Christianity, criticizing the Christians for being a bunch of hypocrites and judging the rest of the world. They had several arguments about Christians and why they want nothing to do with Christianity because it’s all a bunch of lies.

For example, they were talking about how the government supports Israel just because the Bible says that those who support Israel will not be condemned, but while they ignore when Israel causes problems or hurts other nations. They also pointed out that the Bible has many contradictions in the Old and New Testaments, which is why it’s all just a bunch of lies, and therefore Christians are just people who say what they want to believe.

I have also heard many more arguments against Christianity, saying that Christians are all hypocrites. For example, there have been instances where preachers condemn homosexuals, then later come out as being gay. In other cases, Christians are the ones persecuting people who are not believers.

This is true; there are many hypocrites and people out there who call themselves Christians, but do not practice what they  preach. This makes it hard for those who are really trying to follow Christ and become more like him. A lot of times, as soon as you tell someone that you are a Christian, they assume you are just like all the other “Christians” out there, making it hard to have a good testimony.

While I do not have all the answers or reasons why people act the way they do, or why they do not practice what they preach, and while it bothers me a great deal that Christians today have a bad name for themselves, what I DO know is that Jesus Christ has changed my life, and that is why I call myself a Christian.

I know I am not perfect (and never will be until I get to Heaven), but I know the One who is perfect.

Christianity is not about a religion or doing good things to make you ‘right’ with God. It is about having a relationship with the One true God through believing in Jesus Christ, and letting Him change you to become more like Jesus.

*Don’t know what Jesus is like? Check out Christ’s ministry in the four Gospels, as well as Philippians chapter 2.

Ultimately, your destiny is between you and God. He has given us His Word (the Bible), and more importantly, His Son to die for our sins. I can’t answer for others who call themselves Christians, but all I can say is that God has changed my life, and He has worked in me and saved me from what I would have been.

Without Him, I would have no purpose or hope for my life.

Questions? Leave a comment!

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Good Enough?

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This afternoon, I found a book entitled “How People Grow” (Cloud & Townsend), and I opened it to a random page and started reading. The chapter was about forgiveness, and to be honest my first thought was, “Oh great, they’re just going to tell me that I need to forgive people blah, blah, blah.” But I started reading anyways.

The page that I opened to was talking about how sometimes we hold ourselves to unrealistic standards for our own perfection. We think we have to do everything right and never mess up or fail because then we’d be a failure. And when we do mess up, it’s like we can never get over it or let it go. It stays and haunts us, telling us, “You’re never going to be good enough.” Can you relate? I don’t know about you, but I could totally relate to this!!

I went through EMT-Basic training earlier this year, and I passed the practical testing (after taking it twice). The I took the written test and did not pass. I was upset for a long time, because I thought that I could pass it, no problem. People would ask me if I completed my certification yet, and I responded that I still had to pass the written exam. It was frustrating when they would say, “Oh you’ll do great!” Inwardly I was tearing myself up, thinking I was not good enough or else I would have done ‘great’ like everyone seemed to think.

But what I didn’t realize what that I really am not a failure, that these were walls that I myself put up, standards that only I held on to.

Later in the chapter, it was explained that we have to let go of the standards we hold ourselves to, and realize that we are good enough, that though we fail, we are not failures, and that others may be going (or have gone through) the same things. The forgiveness part was about forgiving yourself, not blaming yourself for not being perfect, because it just proves that you’re human.

Just this week I was encouraged by EMS friends who have been there, who know what it’s like. They offered encouragement and support, which I absolutely appreciate!

So anytime you feel like you’re alone, or that no one knows what you’re dealing with, just look around. Nobody’s perfect (except Jesus), and we’ve all dealt with struggles before. You are not alone!!

A lot of times when we mess up in life, we have the same feeling of never being good enough for God, like He’s so perfect that He could never want anything to do with us. Like we’ve just messed up too badly and things will never be the same. But the truth is that you ARE good enough! God knows you aren’t perfect, and that’s why He sent Jesus to be the perfect one for you! He thinks you’re worth everything!

p.s. I do plan on re-taking the written exam, and I will take it as many times as is necessary to pass it and become certified 🙂