Yeah, I know…it’s a weird title. But I want you to really think about it: It is hard for me to be the Christian you expect me to be. What’s that you say? You’re not a Christian? It doesn’t matter. When you find out I’m a Christian, you instantly have a notion of how I should behave, dress, talk, and live. And if you are a Christian, those expectations have skyrocketed to Pluto. You’ve decided that I can’t watch “Game of Thrones” or listen to pop music on the radio. I play Rock Band with my kids…not cool, right? And then you find out that I’ve committed the sin above all sins….I have tattoos! *GASP* Where are the smelling salts? We have a heathen in the house!
I’m not going to quote a bunch of biblical passages here. It’s not that I’m I don’t want to impress you with my memorization of Book/Chapter/Verse skills…it’s that I don’t have them memorized in the first place. I read the Bible and remember a lot of the lessons, I just don’t memorize exactly where in the Bible I got it from. Guess what? I’m still a Christian.
I love tattoos, dyeing my hair, and wearing Converse shoes–to church. Guess what? I’m still a Christian.
I struggle with what our lovely Adele says she has, “a dirt mouth”. I know! We are meant to rise about cussing, thinking about dark stuff. Paul the apostle said in…well, I don’t remember. But I know I’ve read it. He said to keep our minds on higher things and not to make crude jokes or use rough language. I can’t seem to help that I love scary movies and my mouth tends to spit out more than just “darn”. I’m working on it…I think quitting cussing is akin to someone trying to quit smoking. It’s tough. Even so, I’m still a Christian.
I haven’t decided to become a missionary or sell all of my worldly possessions, but I’m still a Christian.
I used to worry about how I looked to people like you, or anyone else around me. I realized after going to a very conservative Christian church for 20 years that no matter how good I tried to be, I would never be good enough in the eyes of my brethren. It took me two decades to realize that my harshest critics and judges were the people I sat next to in the pews. Don’t misunderstand…I love Christians, when they are living the Bible as open, loving, compassionate, understanding people. But I get just as upset about Christian hypocrites as everyone else does.
Let’s face it–as humans, our struggles to be like Him are never-ending, to the point of us taking our last breath. To me, it’s exhausting going against the grain of myself in my effort to be more like Him. I’m constantly trying to learn about Him, talking to Him, praying to Him, reflecting on His words and then trying to apply them to my life. Didn’t know that about me, did you? Because you got stuck on my tatts and the converse shoes I wore to service.
God Himself said that he does not look at outward appearance, but what is inside: your character, your thoughts, emotions, compassion…
I know I have a few things to work on. Cussing is at the top of the list. If you’re a Christian looking down at me because I cuss, you’re the reason I wrote this article. If you understand that it’s a struggle for me, you are the Christian I can be myself with. Unlike other Christians I know, I don’t expect myself–or anyone else!–to be perfect. I’m more honest about it than what you might be comfortable with. I appreciate God’s blessings through material means and Spiritual. I understand that we are not meant to judge each other, but through love, bring each other closer to Him.
So get over the fact that I don’t wear skirts and buttoned up blouses. Accept that I love wine, share cooking duties with my husband, and play Rock Band with my kids. No matter what you think of me, good or bad, I love Him and have accepted Him into my life. Despite my bad habits and imperfect life, I’m still a Christian.
CJ Heath is a lover of Christ, wine, kids, Rock Band (mostly drums and sometimes guitar), tatts, creativity, diversity, compassion, funny things, dogs, laughing, beautiful people, ugly people, smart people, straight people, gay people, transgender people, nerds, working out, eating, sometimes cooking, music, singing, day dreaming, interior decorating, organizing, sleeping, napping, watching Game of Thrones and BBC detective shows… Not necessarily in that order, although Christ is always listed first. After all, she’s still a Christian.