Jesus Loves Me: What no one tells you about being a Christian…

Feb 11, 2015 by

Jesus Loves Me: What no one tells you about being a Christian…

 

I’ve been battling with myself lately on what it means to be a good Christian. I grew up indoctrinated in the belief that in order to be a good Christian you needed to be heavily involved in church activities, never, ever, ever say (or do) anything bad or remotely inappropriate, and you were even better if you also rarely laughed, didn’t have any fun and always wore floor length dresses. Bonus points if you had several (ie: 7-9) children with biblical names, rarely, if ever, cut your hair, and taught Sunday school.

 

 

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It’s not surprising that during my young adult years I was unsure about God and my relationship with him. I spent a long while debating whether I was worthy of God’s love, and what it meant that I didn’t follow all the rules that I was brought up adhering to. I made some pretty serious (and what I considered unforgivable) mistakes and got caught up in some long, drama-filled years.

I was a mess. I made a mess. Life is messy.

Let me be frank. I like wine and I occasionally drink it to excess. I appreciate the appropriate and well timed use of a powerful “f-bomb”, I regularly sleep through church and will plan family activities on every sunny Sunday, and I am extremely judgmental of others. (When I say extremely, I mean very, very, very judgy of others…) I am sometimes unkind, and I use my car horn, a lot. I speak fluent sarcasm and I’m not good at cooking or hosting dinner parties. And, I’d rather shovel cow manure than teach a Sunday school class. I own both mini-skirts and bikinis, I’ve dyed my hair pink, and I trip over floor length dresses….. I am mouthy, opinionated, and strong-willed. I do not fit in well with the “church” crowd.

Imagine my surprise when, years of self-loathing later, I realize that Jesus loves me anyway. That’s right, Jesus loves my wine-drinking, potty-mouth self, despite all my (many) flaws. The bottom line is: There are no qualifiers, requirements, or conditions.  Jesus loves me. That, my friends, is a totally awe-inspiring, crazy-pants revelation for me.

That’s right, Jesus loves my wine-drinking, potty-mouth self, despite all my (many) flaws. Click To Tweet

I realize that this is an ill-timed conclusion. I wish I had known this sooner. I mean, really KNOWN it. Obviously I’ve heard it a million times but that doesn’t mean it sunk into my thick skull. Of course, from pretty much the time I could speak I was singing that tune. You know the one, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so…” It doesn’t say: “Jesus loves me this I know, as-long-as-you-follow-this- long-list-of-rules-for-life-you-sorry-excuse-for-a-human-being.”

 


Check this out:
The bible says all kinds of awesome things about Christ’s love for us…Jesus’ love for me is invincible, unfailing, constant. It never fades, or recedes or changes. Nothing can stop it or take it from me…No matter what I’ve done or will do, or how many glasses of wine I plan to drink when I get home today because I’ve had a really crap-tastic day.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)


 

You’ve heard Miranda Lambert’s song right? The one about Jesus making wine…. I don’t remember all the words but the general gist is “’Cause I heard Jesus he drank wine, And I bet we’d get along just fine…He could calm a storm and heal the blind, And I bet he’d understand a heart like mine…” I love that song, I love that singer. I’m pretty sure that Miranda and I would be really great friends, but that’s a story for another day.

Long story short….there is no black or white list of rules that make you a good Christian. This Christianity stuff has so many shades of gray. No church full of well-intentioned Christians has any chance of knowing the good inside of me, but Jesus does. He continually releases me from shame, corrects my mistakes and leads me toward being more like him. He is life changing, and world altering. Jesus was a leader and a rule breaker…he urges me to be kinder and leads me to prayer. I’m pretty sure I can feel him laughing when I too break some of the rules…I cannot wait to be able to sit down for a meal with him and just hear his heart. I want to take a walk with him, I want him to hug me and tell me that I have led a life worth living. I know that he’s proud of me, of who I am and of the woman I am becoming. I know that he absolves me of my mistakes and that he understands my shortcomings.

I’m learning, slowly, not to pull away because I fall short of his glory but instead to lean into his teachings in my desire to be more Christ-like. I know that my generation of believers will change the stigma that surrounds Christianity, I want to change the face of what a believer looks like. I want to be approachable and real in Christ’s teachings and I have such an urge to be a light in someone else’s path to God.

Its strange to look back over the years of my faith and see the roller coaster that this life has taken me on. I’ve certainly had moments where I am not my best, I don’t remember to show kindness to strangers or love my neighbor all the time…I can be a real, freaking jerk sometimes. But I take comfort in knowing that it is a learning curve.

I have failed him and I am imperfect. I will continue to fail him. I know that, but so does he, and he loves me anyway.

 

 

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