Am I Christian enough? It’s a question I have asked myself. It’s a question that I have wrestled with and one that has guilted me or shamed me or confused me. If you’ve landed here, you may be asking yourself the same question and experiencing those same feelings by asking it.
When I was in elementary school, I was just a typical kid. I loved playing with dolls and listening to N’SYNC. And I climbed trees in my spare time and was just starting to dive into the world of Harry Potter. I also went to Sunday school on Sundays and watched Veggie Tales. My Paw Paw was a preacher and I attended Awanas and VBS (Vacation Bible School). When I went to Texas in the summers to stay with my grandparents, they sent me and my cousins to Christian day camps. I was baptized by my Paw Paw at nine.
Christian culture is the one I grew up in. I was surrounded by it from birth, being dedicated as a baby.
And yet. Here I was in elementary school. We were about to go into middle school when my best friend tells me we can’t be friends anymore. Her reason? I was too into N’Sync and not enough into God.
Needless to say, that was a lot for my 10-year-old brain to process. The questions that interaction brought to my mind stayed with me for a very long time.
If I like boy bands and fantasy books, does that mean I’m not Christian enough?
The questions morphed with age into:
If I want to have a boyfriend, am I Christian enough?
If I wear makeup, am I Christian enough?
If I dress a certain way, am I Christian enough?
If I’m more progressive in my political beliefs, am I still Christian enough?
How did everything fit together? What did I have to give up in the name of Jesus?
At 28, my answer looks a lot different then it did at 9 or 19. I have wrestled with this question for the majority of my life. What do I have to do, how do I have to act, who do I have to be to be Christian enough?
I have spent a lot of time in church, in the bible, and in community trying to figure this out. What does it look like to be a follower of Jesus, to honor Him in what I do and who I am?
I hope the answers I’ve found help you if you find yourself asking the same question.
Here is what I know to be true:
God loves me
God made me
God doesn’t make mistakes
God uses everything for His glory
I am forgiven
There is nothing I can do to make Jesus love me more
This is the tricky part:
People have a whole lot to say about how I should be living my life
People often use “Christianity” or the Bible as a weapon. They pick and choose what is convenient
None of what they say has any bearings on my relationship with God or with how I demonstrate His love and mercy in my life
The bottom line:
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
None of us are without sin. Accepting one another, giving each other mercy and grace, showing compassion to everyone that is the same as you and definitely everyone who is different: that is what Christianity looks like.
Christianity is not a particular church. It is not a particular set of rules. Christianity is believing that Christ is our savior. Christianity is forgiveness. Love. Mercy.
God made each and every one of us. He does not make mistakes.
I know that I am the way I am because I can offer testimony and witness in ways others can’t. I am the way I am because I can uniquely glorify the kingdom of God. That is true for each and every one of us. If we were all the same, we would be separated from the rest of the world. Jesus is not for one kind of people, He is for all people.
God does not have a label. He isn’t a man. He isn’t a woman. He isn’t a Democrat or a Republican. He doesn’t come from a certain country. He doesn’t look like you and He doesn’t look like me. He is everywhere and everyone. He is love and peace and acceptance.
Am I Christian Enough?
I’ve stopped asking myself this question. “Being Christian” can not be measured. There isn’t an amount you can aim for. Or a checklist of things you need to do. There is only love Jesus and be loved by Jesus. Spread the love you are given into the world. Love His people. Love His creations.
I have accepted that I can listen to Lizzo and to gospel. I can read Harry Potter and Beth Moore. I can love my bible study girls and women who don’t step foot in a church. I can accept and love people for who they are because I know Jesus would. I can desire a relationship that is romantic as well as one with Jesus. I can get tattoos and be baptized. I can forgive myself for shortcomings and I can give grace to my fellow human beings.
You are what Jesus says you are. You are precious and full and complete in Christ.
There are amazing Christians and there people who call themselves Christians but don’t act like one.
But what I am telling you here and now is Christianity isn’t the church or the group of people who yell the loudest. Christianity is being a follower of Christ.
I have friends who don’t want to claim the label “Christian” and I understand why. There are a lot of people in this world claiming hatred in the name of Christ. So my friends want to dissociate with them and that’s fair.
But I tell everyone I’m a Christian.
I want everyone I come in contact with to see that there are people who call themselves Christian and actually walk the walk and talk the talk of what the bible speaks of. My desire is for people to see that I am only whole and only saved by the grace of God. People should see that I don’t have to hide from things in the name of Christ. I want people to see that we are a lot more alike then some people want to believe.
I sin and I make mistakes. But I also have tremendous faith.
Let me tell you, I still have a sweet spot for Justin Timberlake and I still read fantasy books. And I love Jesus. I volunteer at my church and I attend a women’s bible study.
“Christian” isn’t one thing, one person, one right answer.
Being “Christian” is me. And maybe it’s you. Maybe you think it’s you but don’t know how the rest of your life correlates with the term.
But I want you to know you are so loved exactly as you are. You are beautifully and wonderfully made, equipped to contribute great and wondrous things for the kingdom of God. Just because you have interests that are across the board doesn’t mean that they’ve become idols in your life.
Jesus is and should be the center but He also created everything on this Earth. He knows your heart, He knows your mind, He knows your spirit. Anyone who claims or tries to make you feel like you’re not enough, give them grace. They don’t fully understand the best way to love on people so be that example for them.
I am so grateful that God’s kingdom is filled with people who are so different from one another. We can learn from each other and show each other compassion. We can sit together, pray for one another, and sit in the grace we are given daily.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
I pray that you never ask yourself the question am I Christian enough again. We are meant for community, we are meant to uplift one another. We are all going to fall, it’s how we help each other back up that’s important.
Praying for you always,