Hello, my dearest reader.
I mean this in the kindest way possible. As you read through this, don’t hear my voice in your head as someone mad or annoyed. Hear the sincerity and the heartfelt concern.
As much as I am immensely grateful that you hold my convictions admirable enough to imitate, I must say this: please know why you’re doing it. If you do it because you understood my point of view and God convicted your heart, then by all means do so. But if you’re doing it only because you feel condemned for not having better convictions, then don’t.
I personally have gone through that. Books such as I Kissed Dating Goodbye (though I have nothing against Joshua Harris) have held my stands captive for a long time because the thought of the books sounded nice. It seemed like I would have been less a Christian if I didn’t follow suit. It appeared to me as if I was marring my purity if I didn’t have the exact same beliefs.
And so my entire high school and part of my college life has been lived based upon the stances of other people. I spent that entire time being so concentrated on living like a good, emotionally pure Christian girl that you wouldn’t hear anything else out of my mouth other than love (friends who have known me for at least 3 years would attest to this).
In fact, I made a completely new blog because looking back, I was kind of appalled by how much my old blog revolved on romance – as if there wasn’t more to life with God. After constant reading of Christian books and blogs about love, emotional purity, courtship, and romance, I have turned into a well-meaning person who made the opinions of others her own, obsessed with getting things right. I have become legalistic.
My most popular post so far on this blog has been the one about guy friends. And while I am thrilled that so many people related to it, I dearly hope none of them broke it off with their best friends of the opposite sex without thinking through the heart behind it.
Contrary to popular belief, guys and girls can have relationships built on purity and integrity without the need to overthink every little thing because they have God in the center. Loving each other as brother and sister is a beautiful thing.
I used to have a “no texting guys beyond 9 pm” rule in high school because someone said so. I used to avoid going on one on one friendly dates with guys because I read that you “shouldn’t.” Only to discover eventually that constant communication and hanging out with guys don’t deter my heart, and that I was only doing it because I based upon a set of rules to follow, not a personal relationship with God. But people, being a Christian isn’t based on a formula. It’s based on having intimacy with the Father.
Gain as much wisdom as you can from these kinds of blogs, but never map out your life in such a way simply to fit a box that seems right. If it’s extra-biblical and it’s not sin, then know that we all have free will in Christ, and you have the right to use your own mind. Know what your spiritual family and leader has to say about it and listen intently, for Christianity still has massively to do with us as a body. Take the ideas you get and consider them.
Know your past, know what would make your heart weak, know what you struggle with, know not to cause others to stumble. Don’t live off of the relationships God has with other people because everyone has different histories and stories. Seek Him on your own. Ask God what He would have you do. Is it wise or is it compromise? Would it bring Him glory? Would He be pleased? Would He be honored? Then proceed to hold convictions based upon this awareness.
The most important thing here is that you live a life that is led by the Holy Spirit, a life that is worthy of what Jesus has done, a life that worships the Father in all areas. Develop such an interaction with Him that every decision you make and every word you speak is lifted up to Him. Know what kind of person He wants you to be. And I dearly hope that at all times, you will be in tune to His heart.
Again, this is for extra-biblical matters. For convictions on issues such as homosexuality and pre-marital sex, I have this to say: sin is sin. He will never ever lead you to anything that goes against what He has said in the Bible, remember that. If you feel led to hold convictions that goes against the Scriptures, then know that it isn’t the Holy Spirit leading you.
And for everyone else out there, please know that more uptight convictions don’t make you a better person, so don’t look down on people who hold different views. It’s about God’s grace, not our strength or accomplishments.
I remember having seen a wedding video of someone bragging about how he chose not to say “I love you” before they wedded and how he told others to do the same. Now let me tell you, saying “I love you” or holding hands before you get married isn’t defrauding. Don’t get me wrong, I hold admiration for people who do, but simply because it’s what they believe in and not because it’s a trophy to hang on their wall.
We don’t live by formula. I don’t post everything I do for God on Facebook because I don’t understand how it magnifies Him more than me. That doesn’t make me more of a Christian than those who do.
I no longer have time constraints as to when I text and I meet up alone with guy friends because it’s not something I struggle with. It doesn’t make me less a Christian than those who don’t. Just as long as we take up our crosses and live surrendered to Him, honor Him in everything, don’t steal any form of glory from Him, and stay aligned to His will, then we’re just fine. Life with God is living under His grace and having freedom under His truth, not under a set of made-up rules.
And so as you continue to walk with me through this blog, I hope it imparts wisdom and truth, inspires you to seek His heart, and points you to His glory, not confine you or the way you live.
Don’t imitate me or any other writer or preacher out there. Imitate Jesus. And live life to the full.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”
-Proverbs 3:5-7; 4:7-9, 14-15, 26-27
6 replies on “Dear Reader: Stop Copying My Convictions”
I Kissed Dating Goodbye is a cancer for Christian relationships and christianity itself. Sure you’d find typical biblical values and truths, but Joshua Harris is over spritiualizing everything. It’s a pseudo-spiritual idea that young Christian (especially girls) are enticed for several years. It makes them feel superior and legalistic and I’ve seen this happen to so many of my friends. They want to apply rules and convictions of an American Christian who failed relationships in the past to a Christian society here in the country that is so different from the US. You ought to make a blog post entirely about how Joshua Harris made you legalistic and warn young girls to be vigilant in what they read and accept. Before they read christian books, they should have first read the entire Bible to help with their discernment.
I’ve been in linguistics and literature research for several years, and along with that I buy wattpad books just to burn them. But I never hated a book so much in my entire life than his books. Because it actually affects people. It dumbs them down and turn them into men-hating Christian women who can’t decide whether to trust or blame God why they are single. They go on Facebook posting everyday on how blessed they are single when deep inside they are dying to have a relationship with a good Christian / discipler / follower.
[cba to reply to your commen on the other post so I will integrate it here]
I didn’t accuse you of being bitter or insecure in my previous comments though. Want I want to get across is that if you’re secure with how much God loves you or values you, you don’t need to be “constantly” reminded of that to the point that it seems you are flattering or focusing on yourself. I’m not sure how to get it better, it’s like the comparison between “God loves me because I am special, a princess, a warrior etc.” and “God loves me because He is good, loving, and graceful” I hope you see the slight difference. Maybe it’s just a blog post, maybe it’s just my friends. But generally I keep on seeing those kind of posts everywhere. Why don’t they just open their Bible and read. Women will find more comfort there.
Hi, Stefan! Good to hear from you again. I get what you mean by all those blogs and books. I personally question and examine what tends to go on in mainstream Christianity, and I wrote this down because I’m tired of seeing things like that and I wanted to make it clear that I refuse to contribute to that.
“I don’t know you personally, but the hint of bitterness and insecurity is leaking from miles away.” – you actually said that. 🙂 But anyway, I do get what you mean by that slight difference. I told some of my friends a while back that I don’t understand why all the posts about seeking God and knowing His heart and Word get so little attention and “fluffy” posts get so much. So it wasn’t fair that you accused based on two posts that went viral when you have not read the entirety of everything. But I get your point about that one post. I just wanted to get it across to women how God sees them, which is why I stated there that their value was declared by God and not anything else, not really to steal glory from Him. Some people need to be reminded in that manner, because let’s face it, not all Christians open their Bibles. And with that post, even non-Christian women can be ministered to at some level. 🙂 Although I will keep that in mind next time I write a post in that manner, to make sure it clearly goes back to God. Thank you. 🙂
I’m sorry if this might offend you, but may I just say though, I sense that you have some sort of issue with Christian women (just basing on your comments). I’m not sure if it’s general or not. I understand it’s frustrating that people don’t just go back to God, I really do. But I hope you can also try and look at people with more comfort and patience (we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory at some point you know :)) and through His eyes. 🙂 It did say in the Bible that we can be so good at speaking and prophesying and be so wise but if we know not how to love, we’re just clanging gongs. 🙂 I don’t mean you stop standing up for what is right and true, because I know I won’t too. But I mean you can try and approach it in a more gentle way that you wouldn’t come across as judgmental or self-righteous. 🙂 Not that I’m saying you are, but one can’t help but read comments like that (like the one I quoted above) with a certain tone. 🙂
That’s why I said “hint” of insecurity since it’s just a tiny fraction or maybe a gut feeling that impressed upon me while reading the posts. But anyway, I’m glad we’ve agreed on something.
I’ll skip the rest and head to your last paragraph, well. No, it’s just a coincidence that you are writing about how OR what a Christian woman should be and their attributes. ( I have to change my alias the next time I comment on another of your blog since that would give off my identity to some of my churchmates who fancy reading your blog.) And I’ve been dealing with feminism (modern, misandry-like, feminism) for quite a while and have gotten so much hatred for them. And the mere mention or contamination of Christianity by this feminism is repulsive for me and obviously for God, especially women who have trouble submitting to authority and to men because they want equality. eh. The first one to demand equality was Lucifer, guess what happened. Women nowadays, even Christian ones don’t realize that we have different strengths and weaknesses, but all should be used for God’s glory. It’s clearly not about being self-righteous and judgmental as those are the exact two things I’m always eager to call out among Christians. How would you feel when a Christian friend on facebook says “Unsa mana Christian daw pero engage into a relationship.” (not sure if you understand bisaya or where you live) In fact, I’m not even mad about Christians not reading their Bibles always since I don’t always do too. I have patience for them, but no patience for false teachings and the brushing off of convictions as if we have just one law to follow. Bottomline, I just wanted Christian women (and men) to depend on God alone, for comfort, security, and everything and stop the need to be so emotional about every single thing and making over-spiritualizing things like Harris. Like they need to stop saying (especially on Facebook) “I’m Single and It’s a Blessing” like, duh, no one ever said it is a curse. Or “I’m single but God loves me”, well I have a girlfriend, does it mean God doesn’t love us?. I’m not sure if you’ve experienced that, or tried that, or seen that from your girl friends / churchmates, but yeah, even with patience, kindness, and being gentle, its still pretty annoying to Christian men, or Christians who are in a relationship. That is where the real self-righteousness starts.
(please delete the other comment if it was posted twice. buggy internet)
Thank you for this! 🙂 This helped me a lot in reviewing my convictions. God bless you!
Yeyyyy, I am so happy this has been of use to you! May you continually grow in His wisdom and beauty. ❤️
Reblogged this on Micah Justine.