Head to heart exchange
I’m just a young woman who grew up being very competitive and with a strong desire to please. From as early as five years old I would adamantly claim the front middle spot on the church choir as mine. And use my high pitch voice to out-sing the other kids. During the week I would be cracking up memory verses with the joy of reciting them to the congregation on Sundays. I suppose you get my drift already, I grew up in a Christian home.
I was around 8 years old when the gospel was presented at church. I thought yay, I’ll just jump to this opportunity to seal my fate and be saved too. After all, everybody around me was a believer and I scared of hell. So I raised my hand to respond to the alter call. Boldly walked up to the front to recite the sinner’s prayer, stood there checking out my mom from the pew. As I caught a glimpse of her smile, I knew my decision was noted and pleasing to her.
As I reached teenage stage, being a people pleaser got very burdensome. Yet, I didn’t drop it instead I just added living for my own pleasure to the mix. Which meant working extra hard at school. To get marks that will add a bounce to my steps and gratify my pride. It also meant befriending only the prominent people. Whom my association with would add value on how people perceived me. Obeying my parents whenever possible and say a few verses at them, every now and then. Then I get the “best daughter” points.
At this point I was living my life on the thin line between being a sinner by day and saint by night. My sinful life at school was for my own pleasure and the saint mask at home and church was for the pleasure of others. I had no regards whatsoever to what pleased God and I don’t remember being concerned about what God thought of me or my life. Except maybe when the guilt of my sins got too much. Then I would read my bible, recite a few verses without any context and pray. Just to give my conscience a rinse and as soon as it cools down, back to my sins again. This was the typical cycle of my life.
That was my life until the sinner in me got so livid. It just couldn’t coexist with the shadow of the saint anymore. It dominated and engulfed the saint like it never showed face. It got so huge and couldn’t fit the saint cast anymore. And for the first time in my life, I saw myself for what I was, A SINNER. Not a good girl, not that child that grew up in a home of Christians, not a fervent church member/ attendee but a mere sinner.
That is when I stopped trying on my own and rested on the finished work of Christ. I realized that all along I thought of Christ as my one way ticket to heaven. Yet not as my Lord and Savior. I realized I didn’t want God above all things. That I treasured myself above Him. At this enlightenment, my eyes were opened. The cause of my life changed. I now no longer live for myself, my pleasure, my pride, my ambitions and people. But for the pleasure and glory of Jesus Christ who died for me (2 Corinthians 2:15).
Just as Piper puts it:
[eltdf_blockquote text=”Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.” title_tag=”h6″ width=””]
― John Piper, God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself