I grew up within a church and went through the usual “programming” for as long as I could remember – AWANA, Sunday school classes, Sunday worship and services, bible summer camps, fellowships, you name it.
People presumed that I was a Christian back then – after all, I could name all the famous Bible characters, I “believed” that “Jesus is my savior” and reaffirmed that to my summer camp leaders, and I “served the Lord” in various ministries.
But it was only after falling away from the Lord that I realize: I was not a Christian during all those years!
If one truly believed in the Word, then one would produce good fruits. I realize that during the past couple of years, all I was capable of doing was producing rotten fruits – jealousy, contempt, anger…and the list goes on.
How is it that a presumably “good Christian girl” could be capable of falling away from God?
Simple. It is because I never really cared for God before.
Many North American kids would go through the usual church routine every weekend, without really examining their true motivations for going to church-related activities.
In the past, I’ve been guilty of going to church because I wanted to:
- Socialize with the friends I grew up with
- Uphold my “good Christian girl” image in front of others
Simply put, I was never motivated to go to church because I truly wanted to seek God.
I left Vancouver to attend university in the States. That was when I stopped going to any church-related activities.
No one would nag me to go to Sunday School, and I always had convenient excuses for not attending service or fellowship (“I have like 3 midterms next week! God can wait…”).
I also felt invincible – that I was attending a prestigious university, getting stellar grades, in a steady relationship, not doing drugs or getting into trouble with the police.
My pride and arrogance blinded me from seeing the need for God in my life.
It took a really bad fall to make me wake up and realize how broken of a person I’ve become. That I am not as perfect as I make myself out to be. That I am truly flawed, sinful, and in need of God’s grace and mercy. And that there is no better plan than to submit to God’s authority and see how I can do His will – not mine.
After a 4-and-a-half year dry spell, I’ve finally started to produce a few good fruits. I’m still a work-in-progress, but I’m so happy and glad to have God in my life again.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.