Not that long ago I had a fellow believer question something about the way I raised my children. Well, they didn’t question it, per se. They just made a point of stating how they didn’t do such and such (that I did) and why they didn’t do it. Gasp!
They may have meant nothing by it, but as a sensitive woman, I took it as a personal offense against my Christian parenting. My children were my most precious possession, so naturally, I wanted to do my absolute best for them. I tried to push away any thoughts of not being good enough, and I thought I had succeeded, yet I woke up early the next morning questioning different aspects of my parenting skills. I ended up having to spend some specific time in prayer asking God what He desired of my parenting.
Here’s the thing. I’m not perfect. I’m not the perfect mother, and I’m certainly not the perfect Christian. If anything, I guess you could just say I’m OK. I do alright with it all, but if you put me on a scale of 1-10 I would probably sit right around the middle.
When I was a new Christian I can recall being very aware of how I might compare to other believers. Some of my peers had been Christians their entire life, and in church every single Sunday. In the beginning of my budding childhood, my biological father was an atheist and would make fun of my mother if she tried to take me to church. So I didn’t have the foundation a lot of other girls had. I didn’t know the Bible [as] they did. The Old Testament stories were unfamiliar to me, and even as I got older I couldn’t always find a particular book of the Bible. The guy I dated in high school had them all memorized. Me? Not so much. I struggled to feel like I was a good enough Christian.
As I got older this didn’t change much. I would go to the Baptist Student Union in college, and I would feel like I just didn’t fit in. The other students seemed to have such a better grasp of Jesus than I did, and even as I finally learned around that age how to have a personal relationship with the Lord, I still felt behind.
I was meeting people who had loved Christ their whole lives, and I felt like I was just starting. A fellow parishioner would tell me that my earrings were demonic, and only hearing such things for the first time in my life, I felt like I’d never get it right.
I must say I have grown a lot over the past decade. I no longer worry so much about other people’s relationships with the Lord but instead, try to focus on my own. But even now, I think you could say I’m just an OK Christian.
When I get mad I curse. I try not to do it in front of my children, but I’d be a big fat liar if I said I haven’t dropped a four-letter word here and there. I’d be kidding myself if I claimed I’d never said the mother-load of all cuss words in front of them. You know the one I mean. Think “[A] Christmas Story”. Heck, I’ve been so frustrated before that even as my mind said, “don’t say that,” my attitude said, “whatever. S*@t on a shingle!!”
I’m just an average Christian. I get mad. I’ve been known to rage. Road or otherwise.
When people say hurtful things to me I get utterly offended. I want to hurt them back. I think of all the very clever and mean things I could say to put them in their place.
I don’t drink alcohol, but it’s not because I see anything wrong with it. I say “more power to you” for those who have wine after a long day. Some Bible-Belt folks would say that makes me a heretic.
I’m not always the most supportive wife. There’s occasion where throttling enters my mind.
I’m not a good tither. I’m just not.
I get anxious, I get worried, I get depressed. I release it all to God. But then it pops up again.
I judge people sometimes without even thinking about it. Oh Lord, I try not to, but I do. More often than I’d like.
I plan to teach my children to abstain from sex until marriage, but I sure hope they never ask if I did. I don’t want to tell my daughters I slept with more men than I can even count when I was running from God and searching for love from man, but that’s the truth. What a great, Christian role model I am!
I’ve been addicted to alcohol, and I’ve smoked at least two packs a day before God scooped this Prodigal Daughter up and saved me. I’m certainly not the best example of clean living for my girls.
If you looked at performance you may not even say I’m “just OK.” You might say I’m an utter and complete mess. But God.
Thankfully it’s not my performance that makes God love me. Thankfully He loves me despite my mess. He holds me dear despite my past mistakes, and He finds me precious regardless of my missteps. When I fall He picks me up in a blanket of grace, and He calls me redeemed. He doesn’t look at what I do as much as He looks at my heart. He never, and I repeat, never compares me to anyone else. He loves me how I come. And though He doesn’t love the sins I committed in the past, He has wiped them clean. And though He doesn’t love the sins I still fall to currently, He doesn’t give up on me.
By worldly standards, I may be just an average Christian. By my own standards, I may be below it even. Yet this I know. I’m certainly no average lover of Jesus. When it comes to loving the Lord I blow the roof off that sucker. I love Him with all I got, above and beyond, and for that, I know He smiles. So maybe I’m just an “OK Christian,” but I’m a triumphant Christ-follower. I’ll never be enough for this world, but for Him, I’m good.