“And she’s supposed to be a Christian.”
Those words were said about me recently. It wasn’t meant to encourage me or challenge me to stand in my identity as a King’s Kid. They weren’t calling me to my higher self. They were calling me a hypocrite. They tried to shame me into changing my position concerning them by causing me to question my position in Christ.
My response was to chuckle and dismiss the conversation. But later, I got a little worked up because I’ve heard this said to and about other believers; and from people who have no concept of faith, no commitment to Christ, and no fruit of His Word in their own lives. It’s like, because I’ve declared my love and commitment to Jesus, I’ve somehow forfeited my right to have a strong opinion, to fight back, or the right to be— scared, uncertain, and agitated.
Yes, I’m a daughter of God, loved and secured in God. And yes, I have those days that seem bad. I have experiences that I don’t think are fair; moments of frustration that I pray don’t define my season. And if you meet me on the road on one of those days, you might not like me. If you don’t have a testimony of your own and an understanding of what it means to go from glory to glory and faith to faith (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 1:17), you might think I’m flaky in my walk, versus in route to a *new* level.
Faith is scary. It’s the act of believing what you can’t see. Spiritually blindfolded, holding His hand, you feel the chill of the wind on your face. The sway of the structure holding you suggest that He’s taking you to uncomfortably higher heights. Faith is feeling exposed and, at times, vulnerable while choosing to believe and trust in the One who says, “I’ve got you!” That’s why God charges us to be courageous– because the Christian walk can be scary. That’s why He keeps reminding me that He’ll never leave me, because things in life tend to jump out from nowhere and throw off your balance…at high heights. That’s why He commands us to remember; remember how He kept you and led you to safety before. He entreats us to remember because the present moment will paralyze you if you don’t.
Don’t get me wrong, yes, this faith thing is scary at times. But accepting Jesus is by far the best decision I will ever make in my life. I can say with unwavering certainty that this has been the most exhilarating thrill ride to date. With its fast, sharp turns, loops and dips– it has been abso-freakin-lutely exhilarating. Metaphorically, I’ve lost sunglasses, hats and cellphones on this ride, but when my feet get on the ground, heart pounding out of my chest, I say, “Wow, wasn’t that amazing? Wasn’t He amazing?
What’s a real Christian, anyway?
As I contemplated the question with the New Testament Apostles in mind, I said to Holy Spirit, “Hmph, I haven’t healed anyone.” He said, “Not so. You’ve helped the spiritually blind to see again”. I say, “Well, it’s not like I’ve raised the dead.” He replied, “Wrong. You’ve lifted many who were dead in spirit.” Still in my feelings, I rebut, “I haven’t always loved like Christ when the opportunity presented.” And then I had a flashback of those moments of mercy, compassion and even restraint that were uncharacteristic of the “Old Rhonda”. Half-joking, I say, “Well, Holy Spirit, You need to tell them to leave me alone because I also remember that folks dropped dead—on the spot—for lying in the presence of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 5:1-11) We both laugh. Afterwards He says, “They have dropped dead. Every single lie spoken over you, about you and to you has fallen dead in the ground. No weapon formed against you will succeed. I promised it.” And again, I’m utterly undone by the magnitude of His love for me.
Here’s something else you may not have realized about us so-called Christians. A relationship with God will demand that we tell you the truth, in love, but the truth nonetheless. A surrendered life in Christ means I have to make difficult decisions that you may not understand, or that I even understand. Like being nice to hateful people. Or conceding a matter to an enemy because He told me to; no reason given- just do it. My insides burn, but because He’s Lord of my life, I do it. Sometimes I try to remedy a problem in my own strength. But again, because I’m all in; because He has both my heart and my ear, I submit to course correction when required. And believe me, it doesn’t always feel good or look pretty. So, if you meet me on the road on one of those days, and it’s clear that I’m feeling the frailty of my humanity and not the power of His spirit, just say “glory to glory, faith to faith”…and keep moving.
A Real Christian