I’ve been reading the Bible this year. Specifically the New Testament. Throughout the past ten years I’ve spent a lot of time in the Word and this time it’s different. Not that I have learned everything there is to learn. I believe there is always something new to learn. But it’s more like I have soaked up all that I can from it just by simply reading it. It’s no longer me trying to find strength, faith, hope in these precious words. In fact, a lot of it I don’t understand and even somewhat disagree with. For example, women. I have a friend whose mother got a divorce from her husband because he cheated on her and yet won’t date or marry again because in the Bible it says she would be committing adultery. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her marrying someone else! You cannot convince me that is adultery. I think it is sad that this lady thinks that. I just can’t wrap my head around that. I don’t particularly think God wants her to think that way either. I mean it’s one thing if she just doesn’t want to get married and just want to be alone, but doing it because she thinks she has to because the Bible says so is just crazy. The Bible also talks a lot about grace. I feel like so many Christians have lost that. It’s not all about a bunch of rules of does and don’ts. God knows we are not perfect. I just feel like a lot of things are taken way out of proportion and we have lost some of the other simple teachings and just stick to the complex ones.
I guess I don’t feel challenged from it. I used to read it and hear that one shouldn’t over indulge in alcohol, should only say good words, etc and I tried to live according to all that. Well, growing up I never drank, stopped cussing and guess what?! I still wasn’t perfect. I think the Bible is more than what most people take from it. It’s about a relationship with God. It was intended for our growth as people. I think it should challenge us and encourage us. It is not simply a rulebook. I think it was created so we can get to know God better. There are so many stories about how He works and moves. I think it’s deeper than simply do or don’t do this. I think there is a lot of stuff that we may not ever understand until we see Jesus either, but I think that’s okay. It works our minds more by leaving it a mystery. We can interpret it differently. We all don’t have to think the same. That’s okay.
The Bible isn’t the same for me right now. To be quite honest I’ve seen God more in other books lately. For example, my anatomy book. I didn’t read it and study it quite like I should have, but the little I did take from it is God. I mean when you start talking detailed information about how our body works it is completely amazing, breathtaking, nobody could make a human, only someone powerful like God could. I watch tv shows and read books about people, personalities, body language. It’s all over my head how it all works. Only God could do that. I used to think Christianity was it, but when I think about other religions I think that there just may be some truth in all of them and if you put it all together it would clearly show God. I’m not saying this to say there should be one religion or whatnot, but just that I think God is all about differences and diversity. He challenges us to step out of our comfort zone, take a leap of faith, do our part, everyone has different gifts. Life is different.
God has revealed himself to me and He is not what I expected. It’s a struggle for me because I feel like no one else understands it, but that’s not it. Everyone grows and learns on their own. We’re all in different places in our lives. There is nothing wrong with that. I’m well aware I don’t have it all figured out. I’m sure there are people who could read what I’m writing now and look at me and say she’s learned a lot, but if only she understood this she would feel even better about things.
My struggle right now is believing that my God and the God I see other Christians are the same. I think we have to make faith our own, we have to dig deep and find out what we truly believe, what are values and morals, what does doing good look like for me?! Simply deciding not to get drunk isn’t it for me. I think doing and being good is about your heart, it’s more about taking care of yourself and how you treat other people. I always tell myself when it comes to making decisions about something I am really passionate about that I got to do what I can live with. It’s not about trying to please others, doing what will get you ahead the quickest, etc. Sometimes it’s about principles. I may not have a problem lying about this or that, but when it comes to something I don’t think I should have to lie about I’m not gonna even though it would be easier to do. And it may be very well wrong, but this is my life and I decide my own fate with my decisions. I’m in no way saying I’m in control. I’m very aware that I am not. But God does not want us to sit around doing nothing either. It’s okay to make mistakes to try new things because that’s the only way you are going to get to the path where you are meant to be, to your destiny of great things.
I feel like I’m always trying to prove myself. I’ve felt that way for years and well I am 27 years old and I am like why am I doing this? Why am I trying to prove myself? Not only that, but I have and even if I haven’t it’s not your (other people) problem. What a burden lifted?! If I could of only learned that one sooner. I wouldn’t be trying to please people, indecisive, unreliable, hard on myself, stuck in a pit, caught up in futile thoughts, but I would be simply concerned about me and I deserve that.
I went to church last Sunday. Haven’t been in a long time. I didn’t really expect to get anything out of it. These feelings I have on the inside about church and Christians and God are complicated. I couldn’t quite put them to words. And then I heard it. The pastor there began talking about the United States (North America) and how over the past 50 years things have changed. Christianity was a big movement here, but we are on the decline. Where we have tried to go out and witness to other countries now other countries (with not a lot I might add) have found Christ and really living it out and they are coming here to witness to us. Mind blowing! It makes sense though. It’s sad, but it was comforting to know that others see it too. What I haven’t been able to express in words, they understand, there is a bigger picture, bigger than just Muncie. I tell you I want to get on board with people of other countries who have found Christ because they see it fresh and clearly, whereas we have lost sight. They get it, most of which have nothing and yet experience joy and peace and love. I want that. I wonder who is harder to witness to, the unbeliever or those who have been believers and told they are doing it wrong?! We’re going down! I want to get back to simplicity of things.