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the hour I first believed…

So many people who do not, or nor longer believe, talk about the hypocrisy of Christians. It’s the number 1 reason I’ve heard for why non-church goers don’t go.  Let me assure them; they aren’t wrong. Churches are full of hypocritical, lying, cheating sinners.

Churches aren’t buildings. They are communities made up of flawed individuals who know they do wrong, and who ask daily for their Creator to help them do better.  I know plenty of people who are good. They are responsible and generous. They are giving and they are forgiving. And they aren’t all Christians. Some of them are atheists. Some of them aren’t sure.

Belief doesn’t make you a good person. Non-belief doesn’t make you a bad person. Belief is about hope.  Belief is about miracles. Belief is about something beyond ourselves. Belief is ultimately about surrender.

I don’t remember when I first believed in God. I remember having doubts. I’ll always have questions. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand Him. But I believe in Him. I believe in Heaven and Hell. I believe in life after death. I believe in forgiveness. I believe that He died for my sins and for the transgressions of all of us. And I believe that He came back to life, so that we can spend forever in His Divine Presence.

What kind of a fool gives his life for a bunch of pathetic evil-doers and then asks them to live with Him throughout eternity?  Only someone totally consumed with love would desire us, knowing what we are. Luckily for us, God is Love. He loves us so much that He allows us to choose for ourselves whether or not we’ll love Him back. Some days I take His love for granted. Some days I’m blown away by its immensity. Most days, I’m so humbled by His grace that I have trouble accepting it.

There was a time, about ten years ago that I first realized that I could never earn His love, that no matter what I did, it could never measure up to His redemption. The truth that hit me in the face was that we are not redeemed by our good works.  All my life I had been striving to prove my worthiness, to demonstrate my dedication, to deserve His sacrifice. And then, suddenly my grand illusions were shattered by the knowledge that if I’m saved it’s not because of my faith or my goodness or anything I do, it’s simply because of who He is.

It is very seldom that I have trouble understanding my faith in God. It’s His faith in me I simply cannot fathom.

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2 comments on “the hour I first believed…

  1. I can’t access the “like” button for some reason, but just had to say: well said! “It is very seldom that I have trouble understanding my faith in God. It’s His faith in me I simply cannot fathom.” – how beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
    Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

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