Posted by: Mad Lamb | 24/06/2012

Making a difference

On of the on-going challenges of being a Christian is to share your faith with others. In effect,  present the positives of believing in a God who acts in human lives.

However, the main challenge is to do this without the usual religious cliched/jargon phrased such as ‘washed in the blood’, ‘converted’  or ‘saved’. Avoiding any sense of prosperity gospel or a supernatural vending machine in giving reasons to do so also makes this very difficult. eg If you pray, life will go well.

Trying to find a way of explaining why it seemed like a good idea at the time and how it would benefit others is not easy. The simplest way I could find to do this is that I know it makes a difference.

I had been to Sunday School in my early years but valuable time with family in a busy rural life meant choices had to be made. Quite frankly I didn’t miss it at the time and can’t remember most of it. Although church was very much at the heart of rural community life.

At secondary school I was introduced to the Scripture Union group that met there only on the promise of quizzes and puzzles, that I loved. A summer camp was planned for a venue I had visited on a Primary trip and I was intrigued enough to check it out.

The camp was full of fun activities and generally I enjoyed it. There were also Bible studies that were so different from just being told a Sunday School story. We actually talked about the stories and why it might relate to our current lives, for some reason it made sense. There wera also evening talks which used the Bible to explain why God wants to make a difference to our lives. Above everything else, I was overwhelmed by the thought that something suprnatural would love me. I had spent most of my childhood on a remote farm where the thought of anything supernatural frightened me witless on a too regular basis.

Despite not being convinced I could be faithful or good enough for God to love me all the time, I reflected on the information I had heard and read the booklets I had been given. Eventually I thought this might be  something I could take part in. And so I prayed that I would trust in God to guide my life and to try to be a good person to all around me.

Over the years I am convinced that it has made a difference. Without such a strong direction to my life choices I thoroughly believe I would be a worse position and wouldn’t have such valuable relationships. I feel I would have easily fallen into bad company and habits and be leading a very destructive lifestyle. Having said that I would never claim my life has been perfect. I’ve made my mistakes and have had to apologise to God for sailing just too close to the wind at times.

My current ‘new road’ is to look for positives and to encourage others more as I’m aware I’m very prone to being negative about myself or others. However, like any bad habit it’s not easy to break away from that especially when my health has been challenged so much this year. Still, I look to the Bible for inspiration and pray that I may hear God’s voice about individual actions as much as the big step ahead.

I can’t say I don’t pray for ‘benefits’ but I also recognise that when things don’t go my way that there are lessons to learn. Whether that’s about not being selfish about wanting specific gains or that God’s timing and plans have more incite than mine, I accept that there may come a day when I am challenged to still follow God’s ways when so many more things in life are against me or my faith.

So when I share my faith it comes down to knowing that God has made a difference in my life whether there have been gains or losses. I hope getting to know God will make a difference in other people’s lives too.

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