I grew up in a Christian home, and always tried to please my parents by being “good.” I tried the same thing with God. I went to church and even was a leader in my school’s prayer club. My understanding of God was as an angry and condemning deity whom I tried desperately to impress with the way I lived. But through all of that I always found myself feeling guilty and very unsure of what I believed or what would happen to me if I were to die.
When I started college, a neighbor in my dorm invited me to a Bible study. As we met, I heard the guys talking about the fact that we could never be good enough to earn God’s respect. For the first time, I began to understand that the reason Jesus died for us was because we could not save ourselves. I continued to meet with that Bible Study and ask questions. During Christmas break, at a revival service, I prayed and asked Jesus to save me. I asked forgiveness for trying to earn God’s favor.
I began to read the Bible differently. I no longer felt the guilt for things I had done because I knew Jesus had died for me. I no longer alternated between trying to be good and feeling guilty for wanting to be rebellious. I felt God calling me to serve Him in different ways, so I participated in mission trips during my college years and after. I have since gone into full-time ministry, serving God as the pastor of a local church congregation.
Check out my Church: New Canaan Baptist Church, Dallas, GA