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My Story: Early Doubts (2)

Inconsistencies in faith and practice

Another thing I quickly noticed, was that my family was particularly more spiritual than most. Not that I thought we were better, but we held the Bible to a more literal standard and had a stricter moral code than most if not all other Christians I knew. Not that this was bad, but it would hold that the more spiritual one is the more Godly they would act right?

Certain virtues such as kindness, patience, self-control, and empathy seemed to be well spoken of. And yet these virtues were oddly lacking among the ones who so strongly supported them. Was it that there were just so many rules to follow that these got left to the wayside? And yet these seemed to be core virtues for any human, how could they be exchanged for more subjective rules and regulations such as music, television, or friends?

I remember numerous times saying to myself even at an early age, “if Christianity is represented accurately by the way that my parent’s live their lives, I have no desire to ever be a Christian”. Now understand that I believed I already was a Christian. And I didn’t have naive notions of perfections in the Christian life either. So I wasn’t saying that I truly didn’t want to be a Christian. But from what I saw from the Bible we read, there should be a clear change of heart in Christians, and despite rule following and outward morality, this heart change was not always clear. Particularly of those who championed it most!

I think the answer goes back to fear. When you are living a life of fear, fear that your family will fall apart, that your son won’t love God enough, that the world will lead you astray, you aren’t able to focus on the simple concepts of life such as being nice and empathetic.

I notice this same concept when I’m in a hurry. I forget to smile at the cashier and say thank you. Not because I’m a bad person or unkind at heart. But my mind is so preoccupied with other things that there is no room left for simple kindness.


8 thoughts on “My Story: Early Doubts (2)

  1. So Jesse, surely the first response of your parents to a post like this is to bow before God, aknowledge our sin, cry out to Him for grace to do better, praise Him for the forgiveness and grace we have in Christ; and to ask for your forgiveness for all the ways we have sinned against you, lived unrighteously and unlovingly, misrepresented the ways of the only God, King and Creator of the universe whose ways are perfect, and all His dealings just and right; did not by how we lived, rightly show the surpassing worth of the one, true, glorious God who displayed His love by sending His son to suffer and die to save sinners; and failed to be the examples of Godliness that parents should be for their children (and by Godliness, I’m referring to all those “virtues [that] were oddly lacking”, and more). In many ways we have failed and sinned miserably. Please forgive us.

    In the same breath, it must be said that God has never in the least failed you, but is amazing in the perfections of His love, righteousness, justice, faithfulness and glory (and that only scratches the surface) which He has shown toward you & me.

    1. I don’t think you failed. I found the truth and that’s what I always wanted. Certainly you weren’t perfect. But I could have faired worse. From a Christian perspective everything is in God’s hands so you shouldn’t worry much about it. From my perspective you may not have been perfect but I understand the conflicted state that you come from as someone who is trying to be a good person as your heart tells you but is burdened by a belief in a God who you can never please. I’ve been there and understand the feelings it gives you.

      1. Well said, well said Jesse. I admire you. From a Christian or main religious perspective everything is in God’s hands, and that makes us feel powerless and less responsible for our own actions. This leads to faking and acting out as devoted to God, therefore nice and honest people.

      2. Jesse, you have it seriously wrong. I am most certainly liberated and filled with joy, believing in the God who really is, who sent His Son to die in my place for my sins so that I can know that I’m forgiven and made right with Him and that I am in His favor, not at all on the basis of my good works (or lack of them) but on the basis of what Christ my Lord and Savior did for me. My secure relationship with Him is not all as with one that I feel I can never please, but is one of confidence that He is pleased with me because of the pleasure He has in His own perfect Son, and His perfect work for me on the cross. (It’s also on that basis that I can freely and without fear confess my sins as I did in my comment above). Further, since He is pleased with me because of Christ, He as at work in my life to make my actual thoughts, attitudes and behavior increasingly more pleasing to Him. He loves me and I love Him and I am amazed and enthralled by Him. Jesse, you have not been there and you do not understand that. I pray you will, soon. He is an awesome God!

        1. Oops. I need to correct a couple of typos:
          “My secure relationship with Him is not at all …”
          “Further, since He is pleased with me because of Christ, He is at work…”

        2. I’m happy for you. I was simply stating what I had observed. Remember if you want someone to sense and understand something about you, you have to figure out how they perceive you and connect with them on that level. If I’m trying to connect with a woman I’m interested in and I want her to feel that I am a confident driven man, I have to try to understand what would make a woman sense that about a man. I can’t just assume because I think it is so she will perceive that it is so. It’s not her job to figure that out about me, it’s my job to understand her and portray that to her.

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