Hi, my name is Amanda and I am a lifetime Christian. When people find out that my birthday is December 27th, they always say the same thing...
"Wow, a Christmas baby! That must be cool!"
My answer is always the same...
"Not really. It actually really hard and frustrating."
That is the same answer I have when hear that I am a lifetime Christian and think that I have mastered my faith and its all smooth sailing. Not really. It is actually really hard and frustrating and I know I am not the only one feeling this. I am one of millions of children raised up in the the Christian faith and I am sure the majority agrees with me.
I'm even going to take a step further and say that being raised in the Christian faith puts us at a disadvantage over those who are saved by Christ later in life.
Now, I am not at all saying you shouldn't raise your children up in a Christian home. I am not saying that at all! The bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
I believe that 100%! How children are raised plays a huge role in the direction their life will go. BUT! Since I grew up listening to stories from the bible and hearing about God and His love for us, by the time I was old enough to really understand it, it was old news. I didn't ever feel excited about it. I never had that awe inspiring, goosebumps on my skin, my life has changed forever moment when I accepted Jesus into my life and experienced a complete 180. The internet and churches across the world are full of people who give their testimony of the moment they were saved and have everyone listening bawling their eyes out. The people with that type of moment are on fire for Jesus. They have a bible that they have read from cover to cover, most likely filled with highlighted passages and notes in the margins. My bible doesn't look like that. In fact, I have never read my entire bible. I've read maybe 5 or 6 books in the bible all the way through. It isn't something I am proud of. There are atheists who have read more of the bible than I have! Me! A self-proclaimed lifetime Christian! There isn't a national council of lifetime Christians, but if there were, my membership would be revoked.
Growing up in a Christian home is sort of like growing up watching horrific, gory movies everyday. You become desynthesized to the material. I'm not saying this is true of everyone, but it is absolutely my experience. By the time I could read and write, the stories of the bible were old news to me. Yeah, yeah, Jesus loves me. I know this. I sang the song every Sunday for 3 years. I get it. Yep, Jonah was swallowed by a fish. Been there, heard that. God sent his son to die for my sins. Feels like old news. I never experienced that eye-opening moment when I realized for the first time everything that God went through, all the minor chess pieces he put into place over thousands of years to have a relationship with me. It is just something that has always been there. Sometimes I wish I had an eye-watering testimony. I want that moment when I realized that I wasn't alone or worthless, that an almighty God wanted a relationship with me, but I don't.
Since Christianity has always been a part of my life, it has always felt stale. Going to church was never exciting. Reading my bible was always a chore that I rarely ever did. Praying was more about formality and not a relationship. Recently it hit me, am I really even a Christian? I know major stories from the bible... but so does Satan. I know that Jesus is the Son of God... so does Satan. I don't every detail in the bible, but the devil does. I don't know the tools God gave to fight against temptation, but the devil does. I've never seen a miracle from God, but the devil has. I started thinking, Dang, is the devil more of a Christian than I am! I was in a bit of a tailspin before I was reminded that I had accepted Jesus as my Savior who died for my sins and defeated the grave 3 days later. Ha! Checkmate Satan!
But, I wasn't out of the red yet. Yes, I am a Christian. My soul has been saved, I'm not going to suffer eternal separation from God, but I am not a good example of what a Christian should be as laid out by Jesus himself. We already know I don't immerse myself in the word of God. My prayers are more about what I want God to give me than what I can do for God. I don't talk to strangers or even family about my faith. I have never led anyone to a life with Jesus. Heck, I didn't even talk to my sister for a whole year because she made me mad one too many times! I mean, come on!
I read something once that stuck with me. It said, imagine this, you get to Heaven and you see one of the 12 apostles. He comes up to you and welcomes you to Heaven. He talks about everything he has seen from your generation on Earth. He is fascinated with the technology available, how you can reach millions of people across the globe with one little device in your hand. He tells you that in his day, he had to walk for weeks to reach a group of people and share the gospel. He asks you how many thousands of people across the globe you were able to bring to Christ with your amazing technology! What are you going to be able to say to him? Are you going to be able to tell him that you used the incredible technology to expand on his works and share the good news of Christ Jesus? Or are you going to have nothing better to tell him other than you spent countless hours watching videos of cats who want to haz cheezburgerz?
This hit me hard. I have been a Christian my whole life, but not one person would know it by they way I live my life. I've never talked to anyone about Jesus, but I have watched thousands of funny cat videos. I can't quote but one verse in the bible, but I can quote the entire movie Ever After. Don't even come at me with a theological question, because you will hear crickets, but I can write an entire book on how Mulan is not a princess. Being exposed to Christian influence my whole life has left me apathetic and bored. There is no spark of desire or passion behind my Christianity. So, even thought I am technically a Christian, my lifetime membership should be revoked due to inactivity. Yeah, I've been saved, but Jesus doesn't call us to be saved and then sit on his gift like a lump on a log. The gift of Jesus' sacrifice is like one of those fancy Christmas gift plates. You take the gift, eat the cookies, and then bake more cookies and put them on the same plate to gift to someone else. I ate the cookies and then tucked the plate away in storage.
So, now we get to the purpose of this blog. I have decided to forget about the Lifetime Christian Award, and instead start pursuing the On Fire For Christ Award! I am making this blog to document my journey from comatose Christian to servant of Jesus. This blog is first and foremost for me to keep track of my ups and downs and measure how far have come on my journey to be a more active follower of Christ. However, I am documenting this journey in a blog instead of a diary so that others who feel they are in a similar position can read along and feel inspired to do the same and comforted knowing they aren't the only one who has had their Lifetime Christian Membership revoked.