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New Christian, Who is this? - Keyes To Sonshine

You can’t just read the bible, you have to READ the bibleTravis Greene

When it comes to religion, even as a kid I knew Jesus Loved Me. My grandmother would always sing that song and other church hymns to me. She would tell me stories from the Bible and in her love for him, my love grew as well. Church for us wasn’t an option, you went to Sunday school and service after. Eating soft peppermints from the bottom of your grandmothers purse and you would get the side eye from her for squirming too much while the pastor was preaching. I did the Easter speeches and all of that. Once church became and option for me, my relationship with God became optional as well. Did I love him, yes. Did I know he loved me, yes to that too, but as far as spending time to get to know him further that was something I rarely did.

Going to service even as I got older was something I looked forward to. The encouragement from the pastor did help put a bandaid over whatever I might have been facing in my life at the time. Praise and worship were always my favorite part of service. The emotions behind the simplest of words sang out of love moved me. I’d write notes in a pretty notebook and even talk about how good service was all Sunday, then here comes Monday. In my own understanding I would pick and choose when to be a “good christian”. Doing a good deed – being a good christian, “Living my Best Life” possibly not being a good christian, but justifying it with the common phrase, God knows my heart. I would ask for forgiveness on Sunday then continue the cycle. Justifying my actions became easy because my good outweighed my bad, and God was at least happy that I was trying, but was I really?

When it comes to your elders how dare you question them, especially about God. Trusting their word and words from some leaders, I never went beyond nor actually read the bible. I tried a few times, but I honestly couldn’t understand most of what I was reading and I’d give up and just accept what I was told it said. As I felt my faith was growing, I started noticing my point of reference to the stories wasn’t as strong as I believed it to be. When pastors would preach and speak from passages in the Bible and would say “Now everybody knows this story so I don’t have to speak about it.”

The congregation would all SHOUT! … I would shrink. I had no idea what some of the stories were about. I would make a little note in my pretty notebook and tell myself to go back and read but never did. I felt like I was the only person in the room who didn’t know these stories and I felt ashamed because how dare I call myself a Christian. One day, I shared with my husband what I had been struggling with over the years and his reply was simple, why not start now? While I still use the table of contents to navigate through the Bible and there are still stories that I have yet to read for myself, I am taking it one step at a time.

I have also noticed that am now more honest with those around me when a bible story comes up and without of shame I will say, I haven’t read that part yet. I have been shocked by how many others have struggled with this too. Many have also shared struggles in what version to read, and wanting to but not feeling like they understand the words that they are reading. Sometimes its good to know your not the only one in the room, regardless of how loud the other shouts might be. Finding the right devotionals has helped me navigate and understand I have to be intentional how I spending time with God, which has allowed me to have a real relationship with him. It starts in the morning and truly lasts all day. Its not just on my knees in perfect posture, sometimes its literally while I’m playing with my son. Our relationship has grown past Sunday morning and in being intentional, his words are being reveled and shown in a new light daily.

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