Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why am I a Christian?

Have you ever been part of a group that you didn’t want to be part of? When I was younger I was grouped with the “smart kids” and I didn’t like it. I wanted to be one of the cool kids or pretty kids. But alas, I was a “smart kid.” Of course, I’d love it now if I was considered one of the “smart women.” No one has called me that in a while. Hmmm.

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t part of the “Christian” group. Not because I’d rather be a Buddhist or Muslim, but because when a non-Christian realizes I’m a Christian I can almost see a veil fall over their eyes. The look is a mixture of disdain and fear. Are they worried I will be overly kind to them? Do they begrudgingly say to themselves, “Oh no. Robbie is going to love me again by being friendly and servant-hearted.”


Usually the veil comes because of a previous experience with a Christian that wasn’t kind or loving but one that was judgmental and pushy. The kind of person that are grown in some churches and softened in others.

I don’t like being grouped with them.

But I have been one of them. I’ve judged. I’ve slipped Four Spiritual Law tracks into unsuspecting neighbors’ hands and I’ve left tracts for waitresses where a tip would be so much more welcome. I’ve been that kind of Christian.

And I’m sorry.

Every Christian is told to make Jesus the example of what we should be in our lives. What Would Jesus Do, etc. But most Christians are then taught that to be like Jesus is to try to be in control of everyone’s spirituality around them and to be like Jesus is to keep our noses in the air ready to smell sin. Once the stench comes near us, well, it is then time to condemn. I exaggerate. A little.

I began my Christian journey when I was 8 years old. At 14, I started having fun hanging out with Jesus. But I also was consumed with a list of dos and don’ts. Later in life, I’ve realized that although I was taught the Bible well, there wasn’t a lot of grace in the flannel graph stories.

So why am I a Christian? One word. Jesus. I have developed this consuming love for Him, because He first loved me. Relentlessly. Even when I judged and condemned. Even when I witnessed to someone out of obligation to an organization. Even when I denied that I knew Him. He just wouldn’t let me go.

And now I live a freedom-filled life. Not without pain or defeating circumstances. But a life in which I am proud to tell others that I am me. I’m a wife, a mom, a stepmom, a sister and friend. I’m loud at times. I love to laugh. I have been on a diet for twenty years in which I’ve lost 500 pounds. And gained them back. I still have to tell myself to not judge others, but give them a break and love them. I still have to remind myself that telling others about Jesus is a privilege and a calling that should be joyous. Not obligatory. Not forced.

I am a 47 year old woman who loves and is loved. Mostly by my Lord who gave His life for me and gets a kick out of me and forgives me easily when I blow it.

I love Jesus.

That’s why I am a Christian!


Kay Day said...

Loving Jesus like that makes you a good Christian.
And a smart one. :)

Robbie Iobst said...

Thank you Kay. I don't think "good Christians" exist. But smart ones? Yep, I'll take that!! :0)

Will Spahr said...

I really liked what you wrote. I feel like what you described most of the time. Thanks for helping me realize I am not alone.

WAAWG Man said...

Many times I've heard Christians tell me that if I'm ashamed of Jesus and won't tell others about Him--then He will not acknowledge me in heaven either. I think that is biblical; but I'm not sure if Jesus would WANT to acknowledge me--because of the things I have said/thought/taught/done in the name of His Kingdom--not because I denied Him--but because I acknowledged Him in such a way as to make Him look like me, rather than His loving self. I'm thankful that HIS love is the anchor in this thing rather than my poor reflection of Him.

Robbie Iobst said...

Thank you for your comment, Will. Thank you God for the grace to live imperfect lives as Christians and the sweetness of family who think like this.

Robbie Iobst said...

WAAWG man, Amen! Well said. You should write a blog. :0)