I’ve fall off on a lot of the resolutions I made for this year, but so far I have kept track on reading the Bible.
As a child, I believed in God because my parents told me He existed and I had to reason to doubt them. I knew about biblical stories because they were taught to me in Sunday School.
As a teenager, I believed in God because I was happy. I was never tempted by sex, drugs, or alcohol. My friends and I spent our weekends at football games and track meets, sleepovers and movies, and the hardest substance we consumed was an energy drink. I wasn’t worried about anything – I had amazing friends, I was in love, I knew exactly where my life was headed – and I credited this easy life to my foundation in Christianity.
As a college student, I questioned God because I was depressed. Still not into drugs and alcohol, but I no longer had friends. I couldn’t see where my life was going. I didn’t enjoy anything that I did. I wasn’t doing must of anything besides writing music and searching for clubs to join, but I was unhappy, and couldn’t figure out why. I credited this to either not having a strong enough foundation in Christianity, or in Christianity being completely worthless.
As an adult, I believe in God because I choose to. I know the biblical stories because I am actively reading them every day.
There is much in the Bible that I don’t understand – and my parents would say this is where a bible study would be helpful, or a church home, somewhere where I could speak with a religious scholar who has studied the Hebrew texts and could explain them to me.
I agree that we should not always lean on our own understanding, and we often need to go elsewhere to gain understanding.
That being said, where do we find sources we trust to teach us?
Over the years in school, I’ve had countless teachers that I did not agree with. Sometimes I would write my paper taking the position I stood against, just to get an A. Sometimes I would take a stand and let my grade take a hit.
Some things are black and white. Sometimes there is a clear right and wrong. But other things are grey. Sometimes we will seek answers, only to find more questions.
We may encounter people who are hailed to be experts on a certain subject, and maybe they studied it for years and truly believe that they are experts, but how can we be certain that what they were taught is correct?
This is why I have chosen to read the Bible, fully, in it’s entirety, every single page, on my own. I pray that God will reveal to me all the things he wants me to know and gain from it in my year of reading, so that I can create my own position, awareness, and sentiment regarding Christianity without the influence of others. Once I am solidified in my thinking and feeling, I plan to find a church and a Bible study. To ask questions. To have my position strengthened or challenged.
Maybe I will change my position, and maybe I won’t… but I will not be blindly following someone else without first taking a stance on my own.
I share this story because I think it can be applied to other aspects of life… why do you have the job that you do, and why do you continue to do that job each day? Do you like it? Do you feel you don’t have any other options?
If you could drastically change your life, would you? What would you change?
Don’t go to school because you’re told to – do it because you want to, and value education. Everybody needs money – I get that – but there are so many jobs on this Earth – find one that you like.
There will always be people who will be more than happy to tell you what to do, what to say, and how to act.
If you like this direction, if you need it, if it gives you purpose, then great. Go for it.
But if you’re unhappy, if you seek something different, go after it. Ask your questions. Demand change.
You’re exactly where you need to be, yes. Everything you’re going through is preparing you for something else in your future. Maybe you don’t know what that is. Maybe not knowing is driving you insane. Maybe you’re afraid of it and don’t want to know.
Whatever you’re thinking and feeling, embrace it. Listen to yourself.
They say you have to know and love yourself before you can get to know and give love to another – this is a frequent quote I see in articles helping people cope with the fact they’re still single.
Well, what I’m talking about is similar – you can’t argue a point without first taking a stance. You can’t go after what you want without first deciding what you want.
Don’t let someone else tell you want to believe, where to work, who to love, how to live, etc.
These are your decisions. People won’t always support you. That’s okay. It’s not their job to support you. It’s your job to support you.
It starts with you.