The other day I got mad at myself. Here I am writing a blog for women and girls about living a Christian life, when I still fall into sin. I continually tell girls advice on how to stay focused on Christ, yet find myself putting the world before God.
I struggle with thinking “I’m not good enough to be a Christian.” I am not the poster child for being a perfect girl. Sometimes at church I don’t even feel God at all in the worship songs. I see everyone else’s hands raised and feel like they are good enough and I’m not.
I’ve messed up a lot in my 19 years–and if you are ever looking for blackmail on me… it wouldn’t take you long. I have too many regrets, mistakes and sins to proclaim myself a follower to the One who was bullied, beaten and crucified all for the sake of proclaiming His love for God and me.
I doubt I am the only one who has felt this way.
My human instinct tells me I don’t deserve to be a Christian and be forgiven. I don’t deserve to one day look at God during judgement and hear “well done good and faithful one”. Sure, maybe I’ve had dinner with a homeless woman before, but I haven’t started orphanages like Mother Teresa, nor do I know every bible verse. My past makes me ashamed. My mistakes feel too dirty, too bad to be forgiven.
However, after prayer I realized maybe being “good enough” isn’t the point to being a Christian. Being a Christian isn’t about having a check list of “things you must do to believe”. Having a personal relationship with Christ isn’t about being the one with the pretty prayers at the dinner table, and having the artsy photos with the deep captions. You aren’t supposed to compare your ways of praising the Lord to the person next to you. Each person proclaims their love and belief for Christ differently. You are supposed to grow in friendship with Christ, love Him, and do your best everyday to wake up and think “how can I love Him more”.
Being a Christian isn’t supposed to be a nice stroll in Central Park in 70 degree weather. Walking with Christ isn’t supposed to be about Instagraming your coffee and bible verse of the day and pretending life is perfect. It isn’t about sitting in a pew for an hour a week. It is about doing your best to look to God when the world is telling you to look away. It is about a relationship with Christ, and calling Him a friend. It is about falling and admitting defeat. It is about admitting you are not perfect and prone to wander, but knowing that God gave His Son to die for your mistakes, and you are forgiven by His grace and not anything you have done.
None of us deserve to call ourselves a friend of Christ. Jesus Christ is way out of our league if we are being honest here. But as Relient K said back in 2006 “The beauty of grace is it makes life not fair.”
Being a Christian is not about hiding the struggle, in fact it is quite opposite. Being a Christian is about admitting you struggle, but because of God–and God alone you are forgiven. You aren’t forgiven because you did a bunch of nice things. You are forgiven because of Christ.
There is no check list for Christianity. You don’t have to put your hand up in worship to prove you are a Christian, you don’t have to go overseas, and you don’t have to have a seminary degree. You just have to love God and do your best to worship Him with your actions daily. Maybe for you that is spending 2 years in Africa, or maybe it is serving as a camp counselor. Maybe for you that is singing Christian music, or maybe that is simply giving one dollar to a homeless man. Being a Christian is about accepting grace leading to you believing and loving God through your actions. Being a Christian is not about being perfect.
So yes–that means that God takes your anger problems, mistakes from your toxic relationship in high school, addiction, and your biggest regret. He looks at all your mistakes and says “you are enough for me come as you are my child”. He doesn’t say “hey I’m not going to forgive you till you say sorry and pay me back somehow”. No instead He says I love you this much–stretching out His arms to show you, and having them repeatedly stabbed with nails onto a cross, as an offering of forgiveness for you.
We should have been on that cross. We should have been punished because the truth is we aren’t good enough. But that’s what makes Jesus so great. See, with God and Jesus now we are never “not good enough”. God is asking you right now to run to Him, with your flaws, with your imperfections, with your felony, with your addiction. He is asking you to run to Him.
So wake up every morning knowing Jesus Christ is way out of your league— but loves you and forgives you for every mistake you have made. He decided to die for losers like you and me, and now because of that we are forgiven and have the opportunity to live for Him and receive eternal freedom.
The creator of mountains, chocolate and Taylor Swift says we are enough–and that my friends is a beautiful thing.
Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–“