Striving To Be The Real Deal
Christian: a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.
I look all around me and know many people who are Christian. For a long time I was what you could call a ‘cookie cutter’ Christian. I believed in God and had my salvation, every night I would lay in bed and said my prayers. When things got rough I prayed for God to help me. I said all the right things about God and my belief in Him but I didn’t practice what I preached. I lived my life feeling never good enough for God, like I was disappointing Him with many of the things that I did. This caused me to always keep God at an arm’s length, I didn’t want to get to close to Him, because in my mind God would be even more disappointed in me the closer I got. When I prayed at night, I didn’t ask God what He wanted for me in my life, I would give God my list of requests and pray, plead for Him to just make my wishes and hopes to come true. Now, a lot of times I thank God for those unanswered prayers. I have the definition of Christian written above this, but to me being a Christian is much more than that definition. Being a Christian is not religion but relationship. Above all, being a Christian is striving to be Christ-like
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
What is a cookie-cutter Christian?
I used this term to describe how I used to be, so by it, I mean no offense. The reason I say that I used to be a cookie-cutter Christian was that I flaunted my religion instead of looking inward to my own relationship with God. I would post Facebook statuses of scripture, (That I had to Google because I didn’t feel like cracking open my Bible) yet all day long I would talk about other people and look at people crossways. I would turn down my nose at people just because I was insecure about myself. I always selfishly asked God to make what I wanted in my life to happen for me instead of trusting Him and His perfect plans for my life. I didn’t seek God and find joy in all things. To me, He was this kind of scary, all-knowing God who must know that I sucked. I was a sinner and He knew it. In my mind there was no way He could really and truly love me because of all people, He knew how I really acted. I was so hypocritical about God in my words versus my actions. When people looked at me, they didn’t know I was a Christian because of Christ in me, they knew I was a Christian because I had just posted a ‘God’ Facebook status or because I told them I went to church on Christmas Eve. I look back now and just feel bad because I was not a good representation of who God is and how much He loves us. My attitude about God didn’t tell people the good news or bring them in, it probably scared them away.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall directyour paths.
I will never earn this.
Okay, I promise this is not a ‘poor-pitiful-me’ statement like it sounds like, actually it’s the exact opposite. I always felt like I wasn’t good enough for God and it made me feel shameful. It wasn’t until I realized that I am not as good as God, and I will never be as good as God, and that’s okay. If we were all as good as God then we wouldn’t need to turn to Him or look to Him for anything. He wants us to look to Him in all things.
Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
The only person who has ever walked the Earth that has been as Holy and perfect as God was His own son Jesus Christ. Jesus was the definition of perfection and he took the nails for you and I and everyone else. For all past sins and all future sins– 1 Peter 2:24 (Jesus) who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
We were saved by Jesus Christ and by the grace of God.
Being a Christ-like, real deal Christian
When I finally could accept that I am not as good as God and no matter how good I could be, I can never earn all that God has given me is when I could finally accept Him and His love and take off in my relationship with God. It is not by works that we are justified but by the grace of our God who 1) made us in His image and 2) loves us an incredible amount. In Ephesians 2:8 it says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” God’s goodness and mercy are so great that I don’t know that any words I use to describe will be perfect enough. I have stopped focusing on letting everyone know that I am a Christian because when Christ is really in you, you don’t have to tell people. I want my life to be a bigger sermon than my mouth. I still stumble a lot, but not near as much as I used to. I stopped relying on others for my knowledge about God and instead I crack open my Bible and study the Word for myself. God’s Word is the truth, it is our life manual. God has convicted me of righteousness in a way that you would not believe. I am continually thinking, in all that I do “Does this glorify God?” and “Does this honor God?” because that’s what it all boils down to for me. God doesn’t have to strike me down with lightning to make me see what is right and what is wrong, when I do mess up and do something that does not honor and glorify God, I know it in my heart immediately and I am quick to repent to Him and do better next time. I urge you all to take inventory of your own relationship with God and see if you are so caught up in appearance, image and religion that you may not have the relationship with Him that you want to have. I know I was and my life has transformed ever since I decided I was done with this religious show and ready to give up a ‘reputation’ and trade it in for a relationship with God and Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) I am not a cookie cutter Christian, I am His Yes Girl
We are so greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved.
**All scripture is NKJV unless otherwise noted