What it means to me to be a Christian

Purple hydrangeas

What is a Christian, and what does that even mean?  Well, as a young girl, I was taught that being a Christian meant that you were being, or acting, Christ-like.  I made the decision to follow Jesus in October 2001 which means that at the time of this writing, I have been following him for nearly 18 years. Since I made the decision to become a Christian, I have learned a lot about the world and how it can affect me personally.  Over time, the true meaning of being a Christian is being lost, so I personally choose to call myself a “follower of Christ”.  To me, it is what best describes who we are as children of God.

In my time as a follower of Christ, I have heard so many comments and statements when people respond to this idea: What does it mean to be a Christian?  Some of those responses have been, “I don’t have the time to read an entire book to find out who God is”, “God is for weak people”, “God is a crutch”, and even “I don’t want to go to church, because it is full of hypocrites”.  I really don’t blame them for what they are saying, because, truly, they are answering the question to the best of their knowledge like anyone else would.  I have even had someone cuss me out in another language just because I gave them a pamphlet that explained who Jesus is.  This is the world we live in.  If you can think over the last week or so, how many times has someone responded to you in this way, maybe only because you are driving the speed limit, for example; it is how the world responds to something they don’t know or understand.

The speed of the world can cause us all to respond harshly to someone or even cause them to refuse to try to see God, because, to them, they just don’t have the time; or they respond in the same way someone else did – aren’t we all followers of someone or some-thing?  There are so many other reasons why people respond in these ways, and, truth be told, the origin is not from God.

In the Bible, we read many accounts of how people responded to Jesus.  There was Simon, called Peter, and Andrew who when Jesus said, “Come, follow me” they left their nets and followed him (Mt. 4:18-20 NIV), and there were many after them.  It was Jesus who said:


“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  —John 8:12 NIV

So, what does being a “follower of Christ” mean to me?  It means that I am following truth and wisdom.  Jesus called himself “the truth” because God sent him into this world to bring the truth and to pay the penalty for our sin that separates us from God. He is the indisputable, actual existence of God in the flesh. I am reminded of four passages of scripture that speak of this:


God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  —2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.—John 3:16–17 NIV

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.—Romans 5:8 NIV

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  —John 15:13 NIV

Jesus was the purest example of all things true displaying honesty, integrity, humility, justice, and righteousness.

As we all follow someone, I prefer to follow Jesus, because He is as reliable as anything I have ever experienced.  I can count on him fully to be there for me as my Advocate.  He gave himself up for me, and every day I live with the wonderful benefits of being a follower of Christ.  I experience his love, his compassion, and his forgiveness every day.  He is the reason I know God, because He made the way for me.

So, I didn’t have to read the entire Bible to learn who God is, and, yes, God is for weak people, because, honestly, we all are weak.  While the Bible does not refer to anyone as a crutch, we should think of what a crutch really is – something to lean on.  We all at some point or another tried to demonstrate to those around us that we have it all together, but the truth of the matter is that none of us do.  We sincerely need the love of God to become better people; after all, He is our Creator.  Through him we learn to be what He intended which is a very good thing.

All it takes is reading a little bit of the Bible to find out who He is.  In the time it would take for you to watch a movie, you could possibly read the entire Book of John.  Let me invite you to do so, even if you too are a follower of Christ.  Every moment we spend with God is always profitable.  Bless you my friend.


When The One You Love Doesn't Love You Anymore

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Overwhelmed by Priorities?

Landscape covered with snow and sunrise peaking behind a tree line and mountain peaks. How to find balance when overwhelmed with priorities.

Have you are been overwhelmed by all of the priorities that you juggle everyday? O what it feels like to get up in the morning and the only thing you can be confident about as to what you are need to do that day is to make that first cup of coffee.  You are used to getting up, getting dressed, and making that coffee – it is habit.  So, you get your coffee, sit down on that couch, and all you can do is get overwhelmed by the list that begins to compile in your head.  Last night, while you lay in bed, it is the list that you tried to forget just so you can get to sleep.

It is what we, as women, often do, especially when we have a family.  It can often be a struggle to prioritize the most important tasks with the others that are routine.  For me, grocery shopping can be my most dreaded chore, because it is practically impossible to multi-task while doing it.  Chores like laundry and house cleaning is impossible to do when you’re on the road shopping that seems to always take up your entire day.  I tell the family, “I will be back in a bit”, but what should only take a couple hours always turns out to be a five to six hour trip.  This means that after a long day of shopping, I come home to all I didn’t do while I was gone.

So, in our struggle to get awake for the day, we often wonder how we are going to be able to accomplish anything – the list is too big and too overwhelming – our minds are going a thousand miles an hour.    I am so thankful that in my moments with my coffee, I look over and see my Bible.  While I am so thankful for God’s Word, sometimes I don’t think I have enough energy to read or even think of what to read.

While I do my best to be sure to spend time reading in the mornings, I just simply struggle sometimes to have the desire to do so, and I reason in my head that I don’t need the Bible today, I just need God.  But in my time of talking with God and asking him what is on his heart for me today, I keep hearing: “Just read my Word”.  It is what I usually hear from him when I haven’t picked up my Bible yet.

I remember a time that I didn’t read by Bible for several days.  During my mornings, I only had enough time to just pray for a few minutes.  Each time I would hear from God, “Just read the Bible.”  He said it as if it were the answer to what I was asking him.  So, one morning, despite how I felt and how much time I had, I picked up my Bible and just opened it.  I had no thoughts than other to just do it – just open your Bible, and read whatever ends up in front of you.  So, I did.  I don’t remember what I read that day, but I can tell you that in my time of obedience, I began to become energized, and come to realize what my goals should be for the day.

I am reminded of Matthew 11:28-30 NIV where Jesus says:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

You see, in those moments when God was telling me to “Just read the Bible”, he was telling me to surrender my burdens to him and that his Word would help me to do that.  The passage above tells us that when we take his yoke, we have set OUR WAYS to GODS WAYS.  What does this mean?  Basically, it is telling us that when we live in obedience to him, we will find rest for our souls.  The yoke that the world placed on us long ago is difficult, but when we give that yoke to Jesus and then put HIS yoke on us, it is easy and light.  In essence, when we surrender to God, Jesus exchanges our burdens for his, which is light.  It is a blessing we receive as children of God.  As John 3:17 NIV says, “For God did not send his Son [Jesus] into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

So, I have a question for you.  What did you read this morning?  If you haven’t read your Bible today, take a moment to pick it up and just read something.  But before you do, ask God what is on his heart for you today.  Start the rest of your day off well by giving your burdens to Jesus.

Go forth and be blessed, my friend.

How to know Jesus

When The One You Love Doesn't Love You Anymore by Cynthia R. Williams

Do you want to know what inspires me to write?

Find out in my book. Get a copy today! Available in all formats, including eBook.

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