Have you ever been somewhere feeling all confused? All lost wondering what you’re doing there and why you’re there? Have you ever, at some point in your life, been so confused about the whole idea and concept of love even though for the most part of your life, you’ve thought of yourself as a ‘love giver’? I have. Coming from a Christian background and being a good girl/Christian girl, I was taught that God is love. With that understanding, I took it upon myself to love people regardless of their character because God is love!
For a long period of time, I struggled with finding my balance. I think the bitter truth is that a lot of Christians (especially youths) are struggling with finding a balance – a point where everything makes sense and works with regards to:
- Serving God wholeheartedly, without compromising at all in any way (no matter how little)
- Having fun and enjoying the beautiful things in life, depending on individual personality.
- Recognising, filtering and accepting certain doctrines and teachings, most especially teachings that come from ‘Christian leaders’.
- And ultimately, a lifestyle that works.
Serving God Wholeheartedly
The subject of serving God wholeheartedly is one that confused me for quite a long period of time. Truth be told, I’d like to think it’s one that has confused and probably is still confusing a lot of youths. I understand that our God is not a God of confusion. He is the God of clarity and understanding and He sheds light on all that is not clear. So why was I confused?
I gave my life to Christ in my first year as an undergraduate. Although I had given my life to Christ, there was still a lot of stuff I didn’t quite understand and things I was trying to figure out, such as the subject of drinking (alcohol), manner of talking (choice of words), mode of dressing, behaviour, what and who to listen to, the kind of company to keep (friends), how to interact with people (especially the opposite sex)… and the list goes on and on.
I made a few Christian friends and felt we were all on the same page in terms of our understanding of the word of God and the ‘Christian lifestyle’. I thought everything was under control. However, things didn’t turn out as I thought they would. I struggled with acceptance and for so long, felt misunderstood. The unpleasant part of the experience was that it came from those I thought I was on the same page with – my ‘Christian friends’.
They said all sorts of things to me and almost made me feel like there was something wrong with me – like I had a problem. To them, I was uptight, secretive, etc. It bothered me so much because I didn’t understand where this was coming from. My belief as a ‘Christian girl’ was that it was important for children of God to guard themselves (their bodies) and to not live a loose lifestyle.
I was very cautious about how I relate with guys – especially when it comes to body contact. I was very careful to talk about certain issues especially where it concerned my family. I guess they felt I was overly ‘spirikoko’ but I never really saw myself as being spiritual not to talk of spirikoko. I was only trying to live out some of the principles I understood from studying the Bible.
As a graduate, transitioning into a proper adult who was working in a corporate environment, dating, etc., I had similar issues and this time, it bothered me much more because it just wasn’t making sense to me. Practically, everyone within my age bracket (including the Christians) were living as they deemed fit. Body contacts were made without reservation, alcohol was consumed in like manner. There was no restraint to their style of dressing and these people were still speaking in tongues. All these confused me and probably almost made me lose my mind. I was so confused and I lived in my own world – not knowing what was right or wrong.
That was where I subconsciously began searching for a meaning to life and ‘finding a balance’. It was time for me to unlearn and relearn what Christianity means. In the process, I lost some friends, made some wrong choices, understood how weak I was, realised how judgemental and/or cold a lot of us (Christians) can be. I felt compassion for people who had gone through or were going through certain situations and was mildly depressed.
To clear some of my confusion, I went and asked one of the people I trusted a question relating to this and the response I got was:
“Every youth is dealing with that issue of serving God wholeheartedly without compromising even in a little way. Nobody really likes to admit it or talk about it but virtually every unmarried youth has challenges overcoming some of these desires of the flesh – regardless of whether they are ‘spirikoko’ or not”.
Now, I don’t know if I should say I’m still searching or I’m done searching with respect to this topic, but something in me tells me there’s a way to find a balance and not compromise in your walk with God. Several times, I made mistakes in my process of searching and even ‘compromised’, but I’m tired of making these mistakes. I just really want to find peace, find this balance and share my learnings with you if you’re going through similar challenges.