Confession: I became a Christian very early in life but in all honesty was NOT really super excited to do things “God’s way” because I was afraid that would be boring. My misconception was that being a Christian meant you were goody-goody and sure, you had your stuff together, but your life wouldn’t be fun or exciting or fulfilling.
I figured that if I followed what God had in store for me, I would be a dutiful little wife with a by-the-book, boring husband who had no personality, 2.5 normal, mild kids who kept it together but didn’t do anything spectacular, and a modest sized house that I effortlessly kept clean and organized and regularly hosted gatherings of equally monotonous people. We would be active in church because we were supposed to, and when we were out in society, we’d keep to our own corner of the world to follow the “right” things. We would be mundane but religious, and guaranteed of going to heaven…but certainly I shouldn’t look forward to fun or enjoyment here on earth! God wouldn’t want that, right?
That’s the world’s interpretation of Christianity, and I bought into it… that being a Christian is keeping to an endless list of do’s and don’ts that ultimately leads to a “good”, but stale and flavorless life. Picturing God as an angry old man up in the sky who doesn’t want anyone to have anything good or enjoy life. Setting Christians apart as a group of rule-followers who are keeping it together and judging all others. But what I’ve decided is really that non-Christians like to label Christianity as boring or restrictive so that they don’t have to take part or investigate to see what it’s about. And it’s obvious that no one likes a goody-goody, so then it’s easy to push the whole lifestyle aside in one fell swoop, based on maybe one or two encounters.
The truth about Jesus is that He’s not, nor was He ever, boring. He shook up the world and changed it indelibly with His radical ideas of inclusiveness and love and amazing grace. The truth about a life of faith is that it’s a moment by moment adventure of stepping out when you don’t see where your foot will fall. The truth about being a Christian is that there is a freedom in grace that you will not find anywhere else – a sense of belonging, rising above the situations of life, and living wide open in a counter-cultural, crazy way. The truth is that God created colors and textures and sounds and animals that are anything but boring – why would He create YOU to be boring?
In my young adult years I didn’t do some of the things my peers did because I felt they were against the “rules”. I stuck to the “checklist” – no swearing, check. No sleeping around, check. No drinking, check. Home by 11 pm, check. I held myself apart from what could have been amazing relationships and opportunities to influence others because I wanted people to know I was different, by that list. I only wish I had understood the freedom of Jesus’ grace sooner — rule following sure isn’t infectious, but if I had understood and then demonstrated that I did these things out of an extreme love for the One who gave His very life for me, maybe I would have shown Him to be irresistible to those around me too.
So, to summarize: I’m not a goody-goody. I’m not perfect. I KNOW I’m a mess and I desperately need grace. I gossip and complain and my mouth runs away with me far too often. I suck my stomach in for photos. I am a grumpy morning person who has a 2 cup of coffee minimum to get going. I get annoyed at my husband and get moody once a month (or more! HA!). The other day, I hid from the kids to eat a piece of chocolate in peace because they were driving me nuts. You take your life in your hands if you open my cupboards and cabinets because most days they are a mess. I struggle with my weight and caring too much about my appearance. I am a micro-manager who has to plan everything to death. I have highs and lows, moments of joy and sadness. I have dreams and goals and carry around disappointments from times that I have failed.
I’m just like everyone else.
But underneath it all I am covered by a blanket of love and grace. I live in the hope of eternity. I believe in something greater, something bigger, something beyond me — something beautiful and beyond my wildest dreams that has not ever once proven to be boring.
I believe that my father God is in control and that this world is not the end for me. I am so thoroughly flawed and human, but beyond all of that humanity, wrapped around my soul, is a hope and a joy that is indescribable and so unmatched by anything the world has ever offered me.
Becoming a Christian will change you, sure. Will you have to change some of your behaviors? Yes. Sin is sin no matter how much you like it or how fun it is. But once Jesus changes your heart, you will want to do things His way! You have to change what you DO, but not who you ARE. Remember that He created you the way you are for a reason! Who you are is not a surprise to Him; He made you the way you are specifically because He liked you and needed you that way. You are the only key that will unlock certain doors in this life, so be yourself. If you do, He won’t let you be boring, I promise!
If you’ve ever been on the fence about becoming a Christian, just know this: belonging with Jesus is more inclusive than any circle of friends could ever be. Your name written in the Book of Life is more meaningful than any number of Instagram follows or nameplates on fancy desks. Your Maker loves you and created you for a divine, crazy, out loud, purposeful life — that’s bigger than any diploma or career choice. Your invite to eternal life is the most profound essence of belonging you will ever find.
Step away from the stigma surrounding Christianity, and meet God and then make up your mind. Spend time reading the Bible to see what YOU think, not what society thinks. Talk to the person who created You and ask Him to make it real to you. Being a Christian is anything but boring – step out there and experience it for yourself!