I originally shared this on Medium on February 1…
Those are hard words to write but they are true- so overwhelmingly true.
In the start of 2016, I decided to live life with a little bit of challenge. To push my relationships, my job, my talents, my health and most importantly my faith. If you think trying to drive by a McDonalds, to get home to drink your protein smoothie, when you are starving is hard try getting comfortable sharing and posting and talking about your faith. That is hard. But why?
We actually live in a culture that seemingly measures what’s wrong and what’s right against the Christian faith. Even those who are not Christian do it. The things that society deems as good are also the things God believes are good too, so it makes this Christian thing a tad easier. Or at least it should.
The funny thing I have realized is being a Christian is not hard because it’s the wrong thing to do, or maybe even the right thing to do. It’s hard because when someone finds out you’re one of those people, a Christian, they start to look for every reason why you can’t be one. It’s a mind-blowing concept. There are so many things the Bible tells us about how to live our life, that can be interrupted in so many different ways. Yet the one thing, and most important thing, we seem to agree on in Christianity is Judgment Day. And when this happens we will have had to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. But yet when you start wearing the Christian label you become judged in an entirely different way- by Christians. And instead of feeling confident in your faith because you have so many people to share it with you realize the things you do wrong seem a lot more wrong and the things you do right don’t seem good enough.
Now that is hard. I mean I live in sin every day, for many reasons but one of the most obvious being I live with my boyfriend and if you ask others it’s because I am a Democrat. I am just hoping Jesus will understand high rent rates in Atlanta and that maybe having all the arguments about the toilet seat being up, dishes in the sink, and dirty socks that only make it outside the laundry basket and not in it are better to happen before Happily Ever After. I believe Jesus has a great sense of humor. I also know I don’t want to spend the first 6 months of marriage figuring those things out (because it is hard work, so freaking hard). I would rather have those tough talks about finance, relationship roles, home chores and pet peeves now. But that’s just me.
But I do feel guilty about this (and yes I am talking about living with my boyfriend and not about my political affiliation). I feel like this might clog up “just how” Christian I am to someone. I am self-conscious about that (but you can bet on the first of every month when I split the rent bill of 1400+ dollars I don’t). I mean I willingly make this decision every day and I think deep down I struggle with it but I also believe this is right for my relationship.
This is the crazy thing about being a Christian. We like to point out ways that other people can’t be Christian. I know gasp, we are the worst. I know I have done it. Oh, she’s a Christian… but. I am asking you today, to stop adding a but. Drop the butts, not those butts but these buts. There are no buts to being a Christian. You either believe or you don’t. So stop adding buts to other people’s faith and maybe to every other part of their life too.
She looks good but did she…
He got that promotion but did he…
They look so happy together but…
That vacation looked amazing but…
When you add a but you are doubting and discrediting someone’s success/happiness/relationship/accomplishments and worst of all their faith. And that is not the Christian we are supposed to be. All that energy you put into someone else life by adding “buts” put back into your own life by trying to be better.
Yeah, I give an offering at church but do I give my time?
Yeah, I am working out but am I eating right?
Yeah, I have an amazing partner but am I letting him know that?
It’s amazing how you can become a better person, a better Christian when you start focusing on how you can improve rather than how someone else can.
If I have learned anything from attending Buckhead Church it is that I long for the day that my own life is so fulfilled and exudes such happiness that someone will ask me not “But why?” “But how?” and I will have the opportunity to tell them about Him.
Till then I am working on my own buts and my own butt 😉