Even though I have long considered myself a Christian, I can’t discount how my parents helped me to become one. Perhaps they had an early understanding that their daughter usually rejected the “hard sell.” Perhaps they merely knew of no other parenting technique to follow. Whatever the reason, they introduced me to God early and thoroughly by taking me to worship service and sending me to Sunday school, church choir, church camp, and Vacation Bible School.
However, they never told me I had to believe in God. They created opportunities for me to “notice and experience” Christianity through their behavior and the behaviors of my church leaders.
Thus, later, as a young adult, when my life was in tatters, I knew I had choices, and I knew where to turn for help. Without knowledge of these options, I wonder what may have happened to me.
I admire Christians who discover and follow Christ without the help of family or friends. To me, it shows an impressive level of character strength. Sadly, I was more of a “does someone have to paint you a picture” kind of girl. Although Christians surrounded me, and I was a church member, I developed a true commitment to Christ only after I repeated a mistake for what seemed to be the thousandth time.
Finally weary of the predictable results, I asked God to do whatever it required to change me, and He did. It took about two years. It took a lot of challenging work and sacrifice on my part, but He kept me moving forward to accomplish the goal I desired. Not surprisingly, several of my Christian friends helped me.
Now, because of my own experience, I know that people can change with God’s help.
One of the best outcomes of my commitment to Christ is the peace in my daily life. Problems arise, but I am quiet and happy inside. Of course, we all have issues that upset us, but, most often, I am able to place them in perspective and appreciate my blessings more quickly than if God were absent from my heart. I also find that I am much more productive in every aspect of my life than if I were continually upset.
The downside of this inner calm is a tendency to get complacent about my beliefs and my status with God. I catch myself thinking, “I’ve done my work to be a real Christian. I can sit back and enjoy life.” Wrong. Before I know it, I am making poor choices, judging others, and behaving selfishly, which is definitely not what God wants for me.
Thus, I guess the best way for me…and maybe for others…to reaffirm my relationship with Christ is to follow the opportunity my parents created and spend plenty of time with other Christians who care enough to work to maintain their relationships with the Lord. Seeing other people with other problems strive to live as Christ would wish inspires me to believe and behave in the same way.
Written by Becky
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.