As a little girl, I was raised going to church, and it was there that on a Sunday morning I understood enough of the Gospel story to be curious. After church I asked my mom questions about Jesus’ story, and she explained it, leading me in a prayer, where I understood what I was doing but didn’t actually have trust in what I was praying. I made a profession of faith, and was baptized soon afterwards.
For the next eleven years I would go through the motions and live up to the expectations of the Baptist Christian religion.
At fifteen I was dissatisfied.
For an entire year I explored other forms of faith but kept coming back to knowing that the Bible is true. Why then didn’t I have what so many others claimed to have? I had no satisfaction, no peace, no joy, no love. I cried out to God, but experienced no connection.
It never occurred to me to question my salvation, and were it not for that still, small voice, I don’t know that I ever would have. In all honesty He had to raise that question in my mind several times before I would even consider it. And He asked me…Did you really trust? Was it really of faith? Was it not simply a head knowledge, you just doing what you knew you should? Alone in my bedroom I led myself through the Romans Road of the Bible, and truly accepted Jesus as my Savior at sixteen years old.
All those years, my “love” was fake. I lived in a form of pride that I was keeping most of the rules. If anyone had asked me if I loved God or others, I would have answered, “Yes, of course.”
But they would have been lies, both to others and myself.
Why to myself? Because I honestly believed it. Living by a set of rules doesn’t save your soul. You can have all of the answers, but still be missing the answer. I thought I knew what I was doing, but I actually didn’t have a clue… because I had no idea what love actually is.
Those who’ve never truly placed their faith in Jesus can only have a very limited understanding of what love is.
I don’t like saying that, because it almost sounds offensive, but those are the facts of the Bible, and how God works, and I feel like I can say that because I’ve been there. I’ve thought I was loving, when in fact, now that I know what loving others is, I was doing nothing of the kind. “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16. Love is a fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22,23. I personally believe that love in an unsaved person is that leftover spark of God’s image that they were created in.
For all of those years I had a fake love, I was an imposter. Today I am so thankful that God didn’t give up on me, and gave me the chance to find out what love is really truly like. I wouldn’t go back for the world.
For more on how God has taught me about Love in 2017, check this out.