When I first started out on my newfound walk with Christ, for sure I thought that the journey would be easy-peasy…sunshine and butterflies!! Don’t get me wrong. Having a sense of security, knowing that you have salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, does make life easier but lets not forget, we are still beings going through a very real life experience. That means we will face DAILY challenges (work, peer pressure, financial issues, etc) and facing and overcoming them is enough added pressure in itself.
I would like to share 5 things that I have learned thus far in MY journey and I hope by sharing them, you can maneuver through your own personal journey effortlessly.
Disclaimer: These are MY thoughts and experiences on MY journey and to be taken as nothing more than advice to you and yours. 🙂
(1) Rome Wasn’t Built in A Day
After I gave my life to Christ, I went into full blown Super Christian mode! I told myself that I would be the best Christian anyone ever saw. I would read my bible 3 times a day. I prayed in the morning, noon and night and even prayed while falling asleep. I would beat myself up if I was a minute late for Sunday School. Although God wants us to be the best we can be, I don’t think he meant for us to kill ourselves trying nor condemn ourselves for not being perfect. Perfection will never be attained in this human vessel and I had to realize that for myself.
(2) Be Honest with Yourself
Once I came to the realization that I couldn’t be this Super Perfect Super Christian, I began to calm down and take one day at a time. The reason why being honest with yourself is so critical is because it allows you to not have unrealistic expectations. We know that achieving perfection is nearly impossible, so why place that expectation on yourself? In no way am I saying settle for lackluster performance but don’t condemn yourself if you miss a day of reading your bible. I am speaking from experience. I would literally feel worthless if I missed bible study or if i didn’t pray morning, noon and night. These things are important but beating yourself up mentally and emotionally isn’t Gods way. God knows that we could never achieve perfection, which is why he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us.
(3) Change Is Necessary
We know that there is nothing that can separate us from Gods love; however, its also important to know that we cannot live our same old lives and expect to bear the fruit of a child of God. Being baptized and asking God for forgiveness are 2 great essential steps on your walk with Christ but you also have to make a physical change. Changing your way of thinking. Changing your social circles. Changing your habits. Change is necessary because without it, you will never grow.
Here’s a point for you. When I became a police officer, I began to change my group of friends. This was necessary because the group I used to hang out with didn’t align with the values and morals that came with being a police officer. Its the same principle with your journey. When you become a new person in Christ, you cant continue to hang around those who are not walking the same road as you. If two people are together but have different paths in their viewpoint, you’re bound to stray away from each other OR you make yourself vulnerable to the chance of being pulled in their direction. You make the choice. Clean house or be led astray.
(4) Be Intentional
Are you on this journey because of fear or are you on this journey because you want to be intentional about your love and gratitude to God? I remember a time when I used to attend church because I was trying to make my aunt happy. Then I remember a time when I did it because…everyone else was doing it. When I made the conscious decision to go because I wanted to go, I felt so light. So weightless. I was no longer under the pressure of making someone else happy. Isn’t that beautiful!? Being intentional about your journey is essential because you need to know who you’re doing this for. This is between you and God and you should only be doing this to build your relationship with Him. Lately it seems like being a Christian is the latest trend. Its the cool thing to do right now. Being a Christian is cool but its more than a fad. Its a way of life. This is your soul that we’re talking about people!! God was intentional when he sent his son to die for our sins. Can’t we be intentional about our love and devotion to him?
(5) Mind Your Business
Last but not least, we have come to one of the most important steps. Minding your business. Staying focused on yourself and your journey. I learned how important this step was after a head-on experience that I had.
I would see how people would claim to be Christian but they continued to live like everyone else with no thoughts of changing. This would frustrate me to the point where I began questioning myself. This is why you have to focus on yourself and mind your own business. Focusing on others will have you lost and confused about your own journey.
Some people believe that going to church every Sunday will suffice for them. Others believe that they don’t need to change their ways at all and that’s the thing. Everyone has their own thoughts and beliefs and this is exactly why you have to focus on yourself. This journey is hard enough dealing with your own thoughts, trials and desires. Don’t add more unnecessary strife by dabbling in others life.
We have covered a lot of ground and I hope it wasn’t too much to take in. This journey can become overwhelming at times but it can also be rewarding and a true eye opener to how much God really loves us. Just remember to continue to spread Gods love and remember his word.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. Romans 15:13