Christianity has been a part of my life since I accepted Christ into my heart at the age of five. Yet, sometimes being a Christian is still difficult for me.
From the outside looking in, it may appear I have it all together and that I am happy. Yes, I have unspeakable joy my Savior has given me, but I still have my off days, or sometimes months.
Sometimes I catch myself going through dry spells where I am not as devout to spending time with God as I would like to. I will begin to compare myself to other Christians around me and feel as if I am not as good at this “Christian thing” as I have led myself to believe. My failure consumes my mind and makes me want to run away and never return. However, my faithful and loving Savior always ushers me back in.
I have found since becoming part of a ministry that the enemy likes to attack me all the more in this area and tell me I am not fit to be sharing my testimonies with the world. His attacks make me feel as if I am not a good model of what Christianity is suppose to be.
However, God tells me differently. Christianity is merely a sinner making the choice every day to lay their sins at the feet of Jesus and share His love and forgiveness with the world.
Jesus’ disciples are a prime example that being a follower of Him is not always easy, but that we do not have to be perfect to be transformed and used by Him.
I have often time caught myself embracing my failures like Judas, who betrayed Jesus for worldly treasure. Judas’ regret following the betrayal drove him to the point of taking his own life.
Sometimes, my guilt for not being a “better” Christian causes me to avoid any contact with God. This results in severe depression for me when all I need to do is bring my failures before a forgiving Savior to start all over – just as the apostle Peter did.
Peter is one of my biggest reminders of God’s faithfulness to use someone imperfect like me. He was one of God’s most devout followers, and yet, He failed God on numerous occasions.
He walked on water with God in the midst of the storm, but began to sink as soon as His doubt set in. Still, He was the only disciple who even tried to step on the water in the middle of the storm.
Despite being warned of God of his upcoming unfaithfulness, Peter still denied having any association to Christ. Although I have never denied my Christianity, I know many times I may sugar coat it or just not mention my Christianity to those around me.
Luckily, we are never too far gone or have made so many mistakes that God cannot shape and mold us to use you and me for His glory.
After Jesus ascended into Heaven following the crucifixion and resurrection, Peter preached to people from all over and won many souls to Christ. He died a martyr for the name of Jesus.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
Just because you started off making mistakes does not mean that is where it ends for you. We can let our failures define us or give them to God and let Him define us. We can let our failures become a testimony, or allow them consume us to the point of spiritual death.
God never asked for perfection, but that we continue to follow him. Yes, following Him will be hard, and we will have to pick up our cross daily. However, He can turn our mess into a great message.
Today, I challenge you to be open with God about your shortcomings so he can make something beautiful with them. Do not try to outrun a Savior that is standing there for you with arms wide open.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)