As humans, we’re constantly searching, always looking, and trying to find the perfect ideals. We want to know the whats and the whys of life and who we are. Most of all, we want to know if we are doing it right.
As a young girl of thirteen or fourteen, I was no different. I wanted the answers to the questions and I wanted to do what was right. And I rejoiced when I thought I’d found my answers in a life and people of legalism, rules, and judgement. I tried to obey difficult laws, thinking that they brought me closer to God and that He would love me more. I thought people would like me better and look up to me, too. I thought that I was becoming who I was supposed to be, that I knew the rights and wrongs of life, and that I was a ‘proper’ Christian.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was receiving the opposite of what I wanted. I felt distant from God, and of course He did not love me more or less because of what I’d done. The people I had strived to please still liked me but my impression to them had only worsened. I was not becoming who I was supposed to be because I could never be a follower of those laws, and I was too young to know much about life, or that there was such a thing as a proper Christian. This system of mine didn’t work because their were too many rules and regulations and when that happens we lose sight of God and the glory and beauty of Him.
Soon I was off on another tangent, still searching, looking, and trying to find perfection and God and what it all meant. This time, with the hurt from the rules inside of me, I delved in the opposite direction. I tried to be as different of a Christian as I could be from them. I never did anything that I thought went against God but I tried my hardest to do and believe all of the things that I thought were good to do and believe that they didn’t appreciate. And I was proud of myself because I thought that it was bringing me closer to God, and making Him love me more. I thought that the people who disapproved would come to see that I was right and that they were wrong because although I had chosen a different life, I was still a Christian and I could still do everything that they could. Again, I thought that I was becoming who I was supposed to be, that I knew the right and wrongs of life, and that I was a ‘proper’ Christian.
But then the rain came again, this time more slowly, though still it came. Softly but surely I began to see that I was wrong again. For the first time I finally understood that I was very distant from God but that the way to become closer was to call out to Him, and let Him speak to me, to read His word, and to try to make Him my best friend. I realized that He really did always love me just for who I was and that I loved Him too. He showed me that my good impressions were not important or achievable and that I should simply focus on showing His love to anyone and everyone. I realized that the person I was supposed to be was a Child of God that becomes newer and better everyday, I learned that the rights and wrongs of life would take more than eternity to understand, and that there is no such thing as a proper Christian. I put this old life of rules and regulations that made me lose sight of God, behind me.
It is only now that I understand about the rules I originally ran away from. I can see now that I only ran back into them when I tried to oppose the former way of life because I still had too many regulations for myself. When I look at both those life styles, I do not see God or love or anything beautiful in them. Instead, I see unhappiness, gloom, hatred, and sin. I believe that God created us to love and not to make up rules for ourselves and one another. Yes, we must follow his commands but not in such a way that it becomes unbearable and we forget about love. For that is not of God.
So say good-bye to the rules that are locking you up right now. Realize that God does love you no matter what! Call out to Him and let Him fill your life more and more. Don’t worry about what others think; only try to love them. Most of all, love God with all of your heart and strive to complete His vision for you.