Sometimes as Christians, we put ourselves and others in boxes. I’ve mentioned this before in my previous post titled “community and short attention spans.” When I came to Wheaton as a freshman, I thought I knew what a Christian looked like. Christians were supposed to be put together, if not completely, they were supposed to know what they believed, and they were supposed to trust God with everything no matter how hard the situation they were currently in. A Christians life was by no means considered easy or perfect, but rather, they were supposed to know the answers and understand life enough to “shepherd” and lead others on the path to a good, moral Christian life.
Since coming to Wheaton I’ve realized that this view of a Christian is not only wrong, it is confining. There is some truth in this view of a Christian; that they should be trusting God in every situation. But if I were to say that I know without a shadow of a doubt exactly what I believed and that I understand life enough to lead other people to whatever a good, moral Christian life is, then I would be lying. Maybe I’m not a good Christian for saying this, but I don’t believe I know and understand life enough to know what a moral life would be. We’re sheep leading sheep, we make mistakes; it’s the blind leading the blind.
It’s almost the same to me as the arminianism verses calvinism debate, and whether you can lose your salvation. What is a “good, moral” life? How much is too much and where is the line drawn? Just like your salvation, how do I know that I’m living a moral life? If I do this, does that mean that all of a sudden my life is no longer “moral” or “good”? I don’t think the Bible’s purpose is for us to live life by a set of rules laying out what a moral life is. I don’t think that God sent us the Bible to read it and decide how we should live our life. I think God sent us the Bible so we would better know and understand who he is, and his love for us. The Bible doesn’t lay out the rules by which a “good” Christian must abide and live by.
I find great freedom in this. Knowing that the Bible is teaching me about God, not about life on earth. It gives me freedom to make mistakes; try and fail. It gives me freedom to be who God created me to be and to understand more fully who God is. This freedom isn’t an anarchy, my life is still a life of following Christ and who he wants me to be, but instead of me having to follow a list of rules or guidelines for what a Christian should look like, I can be myself and love the God who has endless love and forgiveness.