About eight years ago, I flew to Nashville with a friend from work to visit her brother. One night, we were all hanging out in the living room. He was drinking a beer and somehow it got brought up that my dad was a pastor. He freaked out and got so uncomfortable around me that I ended up just going back to the bedroom that me and my friend were staying in and reading a book for the rest of the trip. I could hear him through the walls saying he couldn’t believe he was drinking in front of a preachers kid, and now he was probably going to hell. As if I’m the one to make the final judgement, and as if I cared one bit if he was drinking a beer. I was so embarrassed but didn’t know enough about christianity to be able to discuss anything with him. So I hid.
Since the 5th grade, I have been a preachers kid. I grew up in church, went to Sunday school, was in AWANA club, VBS, I’ve been on mission trips, you name it. I went to church every Sunday with my family. I sat in the pews, sang songs, pretended to listen to the pastor. I smiled and greeted people who I pretended to like.
I was supposed to be a christian since I did all of this… right?
Well, I wasn’t.
I was a mean kid, and a rebellious teen. I had a lot of hate in my heart before I met Christ. I’d like to say I have grown out of that but to be honest it’s still there sometimes… but I am working on it. Just like everyone, I’ve got sin that I struggle with, and i’ve made mistakes in the past that I regret with every fiber of my being. My heart has hardened from grudges i’ve held, I get moody over dumb things, but guess what… I’m doing better. I am growing as a christian. My hate, and mood swings are less and less by Gods grace and I have more love in my heart for other people now than ever before.
I didn’t care about church or God or reading my bible growing up. But since my dad was a pastor, I was treated as if I should know all the answers and be able to hold my own in a theological debate or discussion, when I didn’t really have a clue what it was to be a christian. It wasn’t until my early twenties that I even became interested in christianity and began to understand what being a christian actually was. My dad taught me about Jesus when I was young, but my heart just wasn’t open to it. Therefore, I didn’t really listen to his teaching, so I lacked any understanding.
Just because someone is raised in church and their dad is a pastor, doesn’t mean they are a christian. I know for sure that I was not. Thank you Lord for saving me and my hateful heart.
Psalm 51:10 ESV, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
This is my prayer… for life.