None of us can run away from doubt, it is always hot on our heels. There is good doubt, the type that keeps you out of trouble, and there is bad doubt, the one that puts you in trouble. The problem is, we tend to get our wires crossed when it comes to our faith.
The question ‘am I a true Christian?’ is one that is often asked by many of us at some point in our lives, but it is the wrong question to ask. This question tends to have a mindset of doing, and not believing. Often, people will start to list the things that make them a good Christian (been there, done that!) such as giving to the poor, observing certain holidays, going to church, being a kind person, showing love, and the list goes on. While those activities and qualities are present in the Christian life, they are not the things that you should measure yourself by because you will always find someone better than you. Comparing yourself to this person will make you doubt ‘how Christian’ you really are.
I had a habit of doing this, measuring myself against other Christians and seeing how I stacked up. It drove me crazy, I tell you. I would find myself listening to different sermons on how to grow spiritually, how to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice, how to be more discerning, how to pray, etc. while trying to listen out for any false messages by the Christians speaking on this teaching. I wanted to be the best Christian that I could be, and so I believed that if I read my Bible religiously every day, or prayed for a certain amount of time a day, then I would be okay. Or if I jotted down in my journal everything that I could possibly think of that may mean something whether it was a dream that I had or something that I noticed around me… It all just became overwhelming because I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I started to doubt that I was even Christian because I was not as good as the others that I was comparing myself to. There was always someone who was more giving, or kinder, or who was more discerning or was more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. In short, I tortured myself with these thoughts, thinking that if I did not get that aspect of my Christian walk ‘right’, then I was not good enough.
Although I did not admit it to myself at the time, I knew that I was doing it to be accepted by GOD. Crazy, isn’t it? Even though I knew that I had asked Jesus to become the LORD of my life, and was washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, I was still trying to earn His approval because I did not think that I was good enough. The bottom line is that I did not understand just what it meant to be redeemed by Him, to be purchased, to be His. In our own futile thinking, we look at our relationship with GOD as though it is conditional: as long as I do this, I am good with GOD. What nonsense. The truth is that GOD does not need a bunch of ‘good’ Christians, He needs obedient and humble Christians who are prepared to do His work.
There is also that mindset that if we do something, then we will get something from GOD. Therefore, our relationship with GOD becomes more about getting something out of Him, and not genuinely appreciating Him. Our GOD is a rewarder, He gives abundantly, but when we look at His hand and not seek His face, we are heading for troublesville .
I believe that the question we should ask ourselves is how committed are we to Christ. When we know our level of commitment, then doubt becomes void because you know where you stand. If you’re a once-a-week type of Christian, then you know that you’re not right with GOD. If you only call on Him when you’re in need, then you’re the ‘user’ type of Christian. If you talk-the-talk but do not walk-the-walk, then you’re a hypocrite. If you have one foot in the Body of Christ and one foot in the world, then you’re a lukewarm Christian who is in danger of being locked out of heaven.
We doubt because we do not understand what GOD requires of us. We base our relationship with Him on the human model which is flawed. Humans love, but we struggle to love unconditionally especially when people have done us wrong. GOD loved the world so much that He gave us His Son while we were still sinners. He made way for us to come to Him, He did not put stumbling blocks in front of us or give us a bunch of rules before we could be saved. He said that whoever believes His Son and confesses Him will be saved- that was it. After that comes our level of commitment to Him.
The Bible says the he who stands firm to the end will be saved, not the one who believed, confessed, and then went back to living in the world. He told us to come out of the world, to separate ourselves. So I leave you with this: if you have doubt about how Christian you are, check your level of commitment.