Today is my spiritual birthday! On August 8, 1982, my brothers and I were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins. It hadn’t dawned on me at the time that most of the sins I’d commit against God would happen sometime after I got saved. I was only 14 years old and was the oldest of my brothers.
I can remember sitting in church during what was called testimony service. During this time, anyone who had something good to say about God and how He had helped them in their lives recently, were asked to stand and share with the conversation. Some would sing songs, others would tell long boring stories that had to be cut short like an over rehearsed speech at the Oscars.
One common theme of such testimonies went something like this: “I thank God for saving me from my sins. When I was in the world, hooked on drugs and miserable, Jesus took my messed up life and gave me a brand new start”! I remember thinking how some people seemed to ‘get saved’ simply because they had done all the partying and club hopping that they wanted to do. It appeared to me that they had done all they wanted to do and were now old and couldn’t keep up even if they wanted to. To be fair, most would express a lack of meaning in their lives due to the aimless way in which they lived it.
I thought it convenient for these people to tell the world (at least the ones in our little store front church), how bad life had been and how grand it was now with the Lord on their side.
I was curious about the world they talked about as if it were a dirty, nasty thing. Soon, I began to participate in activities I knew were wrong in the sight of God.
I to proceeded to experiment with illegal drugs and alcohol. I became sexually active though I knew it was against God’s law.
After years of behaving as someone who had little or no knowledge of God, I began to feel like I had cheated myself out of something wonderful. In a true way, I had.
Church politics and fake christians had given me a sorry excuse to stop following Jesus. I hadn’t turned away from Him totally, but had done much more in rebellion than in obedience.
As I look back, I can’t help but wonder how much better my life would be had I followed God with my whole heart. How much pain and frustration could I have avoided simply by listening to and learning about my savior? The good news is that I can start over right now. I can repent and live the way God intended for me to live all along! I appreciate God’s patience and undying love. I’m also glad that I’ve experienced all I have.  I wouldn’t be the person I am without all of my experience. ImageI can say, along with all the saints “I was blind but now I see, I was lost, but now I’m found”!

My Spiritual Birthday!