I don’t pray enough. I don’t go to church enough. I don’t love people enough. I don’t trust God’s plan enough. I don’t listen to Him enough. But I’m trying.
Throughout my life, my spirituality has been greatly scrutinized by the people around me. I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. From a very young age, I was expected to go to Bible studies multiple times a week and go out sharing the Word with non-Witnesses. The pressure was immense, but my relationship with God was shallow.
My relationship with God started to deepen as an adult. I was finally getting to know who God truly was and how great His love for us is. But my faith was nearly shaken by another close friend and Christian who did not agree with my walk of faith. I was told I might as well be a satan worshipper. I was told I did not deserve God’s grace. This person told me I needed to do better because I wasn’t being a good Christian and God wouldn’t want me as His follower. I can make jokes about it now, but it hurt so much at the time.
Through a deluge of angry tears, I prayed and consulted my Bible.
However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ.
– Ephesians 4:7
That gift is grace. That means that nothing is owed in return for our grace. What is grace? While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son. I don’t deserve God’s salvation. I never will. God’s grace is continually working in my life and my heart, but I will never be good enough. I will never deserve it. He has graciously extended salvation to me anyway.
In the same way, as Christians, we should be extending grace to others. This does not mean beating someone down when you think they’re not a good enough Christian. It means encouraging people and pouring into them spiritually to help their walk with Christ. It means loving on people and being kind even though they’re not Christians. Jesus dined with tax collectors and sinners.
I am a terrible Christian, but I want to be more like Christ.