What does it mean to be a “good” Christian? Does it mean reading your Bible most mornings? Does it mean praying before you go to bed and not doing “sinful” things?
And if there are “good” Christians, then there must be “bad” Christians right? Perhaps those that never read their Bible, only go to church on Christmas and Easter, etc.
Sound a little ridiculous? Yeah, I think so. But isn’t this so often how we think in regards to our faith? Like if only I read my Bible more, then I would be “good enough.” Or if I could just believe what God says about me then, maybe, I wouldn’t struggle.
We don’t become “good” Christians by reading the bible, praying before our meals, and telling others about Jesus. We are Christians because we have a personal relationship with a God who loves us, created us and wants to talk with us.
I think that we often unintentionally put God in a box. We subconsciously tell Him that if we’re struggling we must be doing something wrong, and if we’re not reading the Bible, we're not allowing Him to speak to us.
I am in no way discounting the importance of reading, studying and understanding Scriptures. But I also think we need to be careful about telling God the ways in which he is allowed to speak to us. I believe God is bigger than that, and if he wants to tell you something, he will find a way to tell you despite your church attendance record.
Good friends don’t stop talking to you because you’re having a hard time, so why do we think that God stops talking. Rather I think it’s us that are afraid to listen.
Have you heard his voice? Maybe he spoke to you through a song that came on the radio at the exact moment you need it. Maybe he spoke through a friend texting you saying they were thinking of you. Maybe it was through seeing the wonder of creation, or maybe it was through reading a blog post.
This I know, even if you haven’t been able to muster up the courage to pray. And even if you haven’t been able to read the Scriptures recently. God is still whispering. Are your ears open?
For me, I hear God most clearly through journaling. Recently, he’s been reminding me of his love for me in a season of a lot of change and confusion. The thing about God is that even when I feel like I’ve failed him, when I haven’t been a “good enough” Christian, he never meets me with shame. He doesn’t ask me why I don’t have things figured out. He doesn’t tell me I shouldn’t be confused. Rather, He loves and meets me exactly where I’m at.
The following are some words that God spoke to me as I was journaling. I thought maybe, some of these words would encourage you today, or perhaps you know someone who needs to hear this.
"Child, I am so proud of you. Do you know that? Not because you are perfect, but every time you falter you get back up. You come back to me. Like a child taking his first steps you are learning to walk again after a very difficult season of life. And does a parent fault a child when they fall over and over again? No, of course not. They love that child all the more and encourage them to keep going. So it is with you. You are my daughter. My precious baby. I love you so much. Keep coming back to me."
I hope you remember how proud God is of you. No matter how many mistakes you’ve made, and even if you can’t currently muster up the willingness to fight, he loves you. Oh how he loves you.