I have visited my biological family 3 times in the last 10 years. They live in Colorado and cold and mountains aren’t really my thing. Nevertheless, this summer I had the opportunity to go visit my family for the first time in over 5 years. When you are a believer, I rather use that term just because a lot of people claim “Christian”, it can be difficult to be around your family if they aren’t believers as well or believe the way you do.
My family doesn’t go to church. No one had a bible. Jesus was only mentioned if I was around. I knew my speech and actions were being observed. I had access to weed (it’s legal there), alcohol, parties, old friends, drama and any other trouble I could get myself into. However, not only am I not about that life anymore. I think if I tried smoking a blunt today I would be the one that everyone would hate having around. Because my paranoia would be through the roof do you hear me? And all that other stuff, I’m approaching 30 and I just don’t think that’s a good look anymore.
The real reason though (Probably should’ve been the first?) is I really don’t like all that stuff now that I’ve matured as a believer. My mindset changed so therefore everything else has changed as well. But anyway, I’ve stuck to the same routine that I’ve had for almost a year: Read my bible, watch sermons and encouragement videos, and listen to praise and worship. (I’ve been saved for 9 years, but this is the first year where I’ve been very consistent in what God has been telling me to do.) That is how I spend my time outside of errands, taking care of the kids, school and whatever else life has for me. I love to have fun, but now it’s in ways that are more fulfilling and keeps me in alignment with God.
I am determined to please God.
Well my family knows this is my routine, but of course there were the conversations of ” Well you can’t force people into your religion” without me even saying a word. And for me to take the bait to argue about “Doctrine and other irrelevant things” that people think are God’s agenda.
No I didn’t talk about salvation (although I wish I had), or what a Christian should be doing or anything related. I just did my routine as normal because people no longer want to hear about you being a believer. They want to see you being a believer. Thankfully, I passed the test. (Yay!)
When I left it was bittersweet. Of course I was excited to get back to my normal life, but I really don’t know if any of my family members are truly saved. That if they believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, rose 3 days later, conquered death and the grave, and freely gives the gift of salvation. **Sigh**
When I got in both my sister’s cars they said “I don’t want to hear that Jesus music.”
My mom says that she prays every damn day. (Her words not mine.)
My aunt serves at a church and said some things that let me know she knows her bible.
One of my sister’s said to me ” Why are Christians so judgmental about what other people do?” and I responded ” They shouldn’t be judgmental. They are no better than anyone else. She said “Well why are they so caught up on what people can and can’t do?” I replied. ” Those are religious people. Believers have a relationship with God and know that’s important but not everything. However, if I’m doing the same actions as a non-believer than how can I help God bring anyone Christ. If I believe in Christ than I should believe what the bible tells me about how to speak and act because I want to please God.” (Notice I said no scriptures or over religious stuff…on purpose.) She responded “That makes a lot of sense.” (And I could see in her eyes that something clicked, What? I don’t know, but I believe something that changed her mind about Christians.)
My dad tried to bait me into some discussion about Jesus and he said,”Well Jesus forgave the woman who committed adultery.” It didn’t have anything to do with what we were talking about. But, A for effort Dad.
When I invited my nephew to church he said, “Well I don’t do religion.” This gave me the opportunity to speak to him about knowing God has very little to do with religion and everything to do with relationship. I could see it had some impact on him.
Well, I can’t say my family doesn’t know anything about God or whether they are saved. But, I do know that 6 years ago I went natural (hair) and my sisters teased me for 4 years calling me all kinds of names and thinking it was so ridiculous that I had a fro. 2 years ago the same sisters who were teasing me are now natural and take hair advice from me.
God is faithful.