“What’s so great about being a Christian, anyway?” The question hung in the air as I drove back to the office with a group of friends and colleagues after lunch. I was only 23 years old at the time, and we were having a conversation about the new church my husband and I were attending. It was unlike any other church we visited before: the music was excellent and current, the messages were relevant and it just felt like home. We had only been attending for a few months and already knew that profound life-change was occurring.
So when my friend asked the question, I began searching for the right words to say. My heart was on fire in a brand new way, and I could think of nothing better than being a Christian. But when I couldn’t articulate the perfect response, I did what any person with a what-will-they-think-of-me complex would do: I said nothing. There were a few seconds of silence and, as if her question was rhetorical, someone quickly changed the subject. The opportunity to share what God was actively doing in my life, knowing the news could change hers as well, was gone.
All these years later, I still vividly remember that moment and wish my response had been different. But, sharing my faith through spoken words wasn’t in my wheelhouse. It’s gotten (a little) easier over time, but back then I was completely unprepared for the question.
If I could turn back time and re-live that moment, my answer would be summed up in a single word:
Jesus said to his followers in John 8:31-32 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Choosing to follow Jesus means you don’t have to be a slave anymore to that bad habit you just can’t break. It means freedom from believing you aren’t acceptable or lovable. It means freedom to forgive that person who has hurt you deeply, so you can be released from your own personal prison of anger. It means freedom from fear and worry, even in the middle of deep pain and gaping uncertainty. It means the freedom to do the right thing, even when everyone else tells you to do the opposite. It means freedom to love others with no strings attached.
I want that kind of freedom for you.
If you do too, just look to Jesus.