The Gospel Isn't Just for Broken People4:30 AM
Long story short, a few academic classes on religious experience and Christianity left my faith burned. Scarred. And as with burned tissue, the nerves that gave me feeling and life just up and died. I no longer cared about God or about following Him. After all, my life was actually, for once, not the worst thing in the world. I got great grades. I knew how to regulate my propensity to be gloomy with good sleep, health, and emotional habits. I dated the most amazing person ever. I was learning to enjoy new things and embrace the very best of life. And this earthly life seemed pretty great -- full of interesting people, fun opportunities, and a beautiful physical world.
At the time, it seemed unnecessary -- if not downright interfering -- to believe in God. What could God do for me? I had everything I needed right here on earth. I was satisfied. I barely thought about Him, and I felt no huge guilt or emptiness in my life. In fact, I felt more fulfilled -- I mean, I could do what I wanted without worrying about sanctification or doing the right thing. I could get instant gratification and not wait for God's timing. I could ignore the old, boring Christian discussions on dating, purity, modesty, women, conservatism, whatever.
Those classes opened up the possibility of life without God. Not the possibly of living a life without God when there was a God, but living a life without God if there actually wasn't a God. And I for a time practically lived that way, even if I didn't come right out and say that.
I knew there was a God, so of course He kept pursuing me and reminding me that my spiritual life was dead. Not much guilt. Just occasional thoughts. Enough thought to know I didn't care anymore and didn't want to care.
I told my boyfriend so: "Christianity seems so meaningless to my life. I just don't see any reason to care about it anymore."
He looked at me. "Yes, there is," he said. And the next thing that came out of his mouth surprised me -- not just because he wasn't a Bible-thumping Baptist but because I'd never thought about it: "If you didn't care, you would go to hell."
Christianity had been so me-focused. Me and my problems and how God could solve them. When my problems seemed solved, I felt like I could dismiss Him, like an employer dismisses the maid after the toilet has been cleaned. Why keep a maid around in a clean house? Why keep a God around in a pretty all-together life?
All this talk about "God saving me" and "God's doing so much in my life" rang hollow because I didn't feel like I needed saving from self-hatred or guilt or desperate life disasters.
But Christianity is not me-focused. It's truth-focused. It's God-focused. It doesn't matter if my life seems "together." It doesn't matter if God seems to interfere in my life more than fix it. That does not matter. . .because the truth is there is a God. The truth is I am a sinner. The truth is I need saving -- if not in this life, then definitely in the next.
Christianity is not a self-help fad. It was not designed for me. It is about the truth of the spiritual and the physical world. It is for God's ultimate glory. And praise be to Him -- His glory includes the greatest benefit to mankind and all the love and grace and pride-stomping a girl could wish for.