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  • Am I a Genuine Christian?

    Alright y'all so a little bit of background. I'm roughly a 7 month old Christian. Basically the question of this post is in the title itself. It comes up time and time again and it is killin' me today. I'm pretty frustrated with going through the whole thing again. So I'll try to make this as organized as possible.

    There will be a few components of this post that relate to the title's question:
    -My Testimony
    -What I struggle with
    -What I have done with my faith
    -Why I think or condemn myself into thinking I am not a Christian.

    Testimony:
    To be blunt I was an angry, sad, lonely, and insecure dude. I compensated for these by playing sports throughout highschool and college, but once all that ended these feelings grew stronger and stronger to the point of it being near unbearable. So yeah I was asking the cliche questions of life, "Why am I here?" "Will I be happy when I get that career job?" Will I be happy when I have a wife and kids". The answer was no. Then there was the other question, "What happens after I die?" Deep down I already believed that God existed and I knew if I were to die at that moment I would go to Hell. This created fear. I watched sermons from a guy named Greg Laurie (really awesome dude) about angels and demons and Heaven and Hell. However, what I noticed was that at the end of all of his sermons, He has people (those who are willing) stand up and surrender their lives to Christ. I wondered what that was about. I did more research and realized that Jesus Christ the Son of God had died for all sins. Sure I have heard that before you know "Jesus died for us" but it clicked and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt guilty. I googled "too guilty to come to Christ" or something like that and I opened up an article and the line that was a game changer for me was "Jesus Christ died for all past, present, and future sins for all past, present, and future people." The next day (I think) I was on my way to Walmart to get bible study supplies so I could learn more from the bible before I surrendered my life to Christ (dumb excuse lol) and I believe I had MercyMe's "Beautiful" on the radio. It hit me just right. In my heart I surrendered. I affirmed to Him that He is Lord and Savior, choking on the words 'Forgive me', and asking him to come into my heart and right after asking helping to save my family. Yes there was an "emotional response" involved. By the time I'm done with this I'm recovering in a secluded area of the Walmart parking lot, I recover, I get my Bible study materials I go home. This is where the magic happens (or His power really). First off, I don't exaggerate, I am to the truth black and white. Alright, well when I prayed to Jesus for that first time. I was instantly changed. Now I didn't feel it right away I was still recovering and all. It took me about an hour afterwards when I got home to realize I was changed. All my anger, sadness, loneliness, and insecurities were gone. Poof! How did I get rid of the degree of loneliness I was feeling? Plain and simple, I wasn't alone anymore. For the next three days what a guy dubbed the 'honeymoon phase', God and Heaven were more real to me than the Earth we walk on. I kid you not. I could look up into the mountains and up at my work's ceiling and say to myself 'wow how temporary this world is.' Then the 4th day came and that kinda went away and I panicked lol thats a whole other thing in itself. This is my testimony. On to the next thing!

    What I struggle with:
    I struggle with if I am a genuine Christian or not. I struggle with letting my feelings be my relationship with Christ. When I feel down, I think something is wrong. Trying to live by faith is INCREDIBLY TOUGH and that is why I question if I am genuine or not. When I have no joyous feelings I just look at this world and it's still the same hopeless wasteland it was before I became a Christian and my feelings play into that. It is hard to have faith in God without the emotion of it. The feeling of being relaxed and the RAH! to it and wanting to go share the gospel. Because I dont feel like this it makes me worry, it makes me panic if I am a genuine Christian or not. I can deal with anything knowing 100% that I am a child of God and will be a child of God forever. But when it comes down to that I am struggling with or questioning, I panic.
    I am self-critical of myself and I believe I condemn myself quite a bit. Onto the next thing!

    What I have done with my faith:
    There is by no means of bragging of this, most of these things I have done I haven't told anyone I know and see. I don't to avoid the risk of temptation of bragging or being prideful. Just trying to figure things out.

    -Shared the gospel ~30 times mostly with co-workers.
    -Went to a store and bought quite a bit of food and made food and visited a homeless guy, sat and ate with him a little bit, told him the reason I was there was to share the gospel, shared the gospel and my testimony, gave him a letter regarding the gospel, a small bible, and a grocery bag of food.
    -I work at BJ's Restaurant. I saw a lady in a wheelchair who would come everyone once in a while. Not too sure if the Spirit was leading me or if it was me feeling bad that she was in a wheelchair, but felt led to share the gospel with her. Didn't do it the first time. Prayed before going into work for her to be there. She was there. I chickened out. Prayed again later on for her to be there. She was there. Sat with her during a semi busy day and shared the gospel with her (i hate being the center of attention and I am sure my co-workers were looking at me.)
    -Wrote out a letter to my Dad (our relationship is near non-existent) basically forgiving him for the past and sharing my faith.
    -Felt led to be a cop when I didnt want to be one. Did pre-academy requirements, didnt pass interviews.

    Why I think or condemn myself into thinking I am not a Christian:
    -I believe I am beginning to take the Gospel for granted.
    -I haven't shared my faith in a while.
    -Agitated with a couple brothers in Christ but love to see them
    -Struggle with the question if I love Jesus or not (trying to live by faith and not feelings)
    -Feeling I am being prideful when I dont want to be extremely vulnerable with my Father.
    -Struggle with if I should call God Father or not because I struggle with if I am a Christian or not.
    -Super stressful work environment committing same sins every night or every other night.
    -Feeling fake when I pray when I am being as genuine as can be
    -Super critical of myself and therefore super critical of others
    -having trouble not pressing the 'stop video' in my head quick enough
    -Didn't pray too much in my honeymoon phase but worshiped him in my heart
    -Didn't affirm to Jesus that He was the Son of God during my first prayer to him although I believed it in my heart.
    -Didnt say his name when I prayed to Him the first time but my heart was directed towards him
    -Dont feel much towards him when I pray to Him nowadays.

    The list can go on with tiny ridiculous things lol

    I believe the root of most of it is feeling fake in what I do if I dont feel genuine. I beat myself up for it. I 100% without a doubt want to be real. Genuine. Not faking anything. I've imagined myself coming to face to face with Jesus and telling me "Depart from me you worker of iniquity." How scary, heart-wrenching, and embarrassing it would be to realize I was fake.

    So yeah that being said y'all, I know this is the 'Comfort and encouragement' forum, but do me a favor. If it needs to be done, stab me in the chest. Enemies stab you in the back. Friends stab you in the chest. Just tell me the truth. Share you opinions. Share your experiences as a Christian and as a baby Christian.

    Thanks all for taking the time to read this!

  • #2
    Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

    Huge share othersteeve--Welcome to the family. I have shared recently about trials getting the best of me-- and after being Christian for 25 years, well you have it right-- This is not a cake walk--
    I think perhaps you are sensitive person, and you will get these doubts because you are hard on yourself...maybe more than you are hard on others?

    If you have been given the gift of mercy, please be merciful to yourself too. This is not selfish, it is necessary.

    Let Him heal your heart, renew your mind and do it His way.

    When you felt lead to share, and waited, He knew.
    Peace to you!

    It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

    1 Corinthians 1:30

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

      Ugh lol I totally feel ya. Been a Christian for gosh, I think 18-19 years now, and I still wonder where I stand and still feel fake sometimes. And sometimes I wonder if I love Jesus and during those times I know I love him, I wonder if I'll ever love him and worship Him worthily. But I'll say when I first became a Christian I was so on fire I did a lot of gospel sharing and testimony sharing (as if it would PROVE anything to a non believer) but as time went on I found I became a bit calloused. That's not good. But there's an upside, maturity. . I share less but I see more impact when I do because I'm sharing with people I've established relationships with. And like you, I've been irritated with some of our fellow believers, they're just human too.
      But as time goes on I find my faith isn't always going to be high in the clouds and I'm not always going to walk in the spirit, and I'm not always going to display great faith or be loving or holy or humble, all the time. But with each new phase I get better at letting God be God, while I get better at seeking to glorify Him.

      Basically, it's a journey and each person has their own journey and purpose. But all of us live to glorify our God and Savior. Word of advice that I wish someone had shared with me in the beginning of my walk...
      Learn to just seek Him just for the sake of knowing Him more. He will take it from there.

      God bless you in your faith Christian
      Don't seek too much knowledge. You just may be putting more weight on your shoulders than you're able to bare. Let God be the one to decide how quickly you grow.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

        Originally posted by othersteeve View Post
        Alright y'all so a little bit of background. I'm roughly a 7 month old Christian. Basically the question of this post is in the title itself. It comes up time and time again and it is killin' me today. I'm pretty frustrated with going through the whole thing again. So I'll try to make this as organized as possible.

        There will be a few components of this post that relate to the title's question:
        -My Testimony
        -What I struggle with
        -What I have done with my faith
        -Why I think or condemn myself into thinking I am not a Christian.

        Testimony:
        To be blunt I was an angry, sad, lonely, and insecure dude. I compensated for these by playing sports throughout highschool and college, but once all that ended these feelings grew stronger and stronger to the point of it being near unbearable. So yeah I was asking the cliche questions of life, "Why am I here?" "Will I be happy when I get that career job?" Will I be happy when I have a wife and kids". The answer was no. Then there was the other question, "What happens after I die?" Deep down I already believed that God existed and I knew if I were to die at that moment I would go to Hell. This created fear. I watched sermons from a guy named Greg Laurie (really awesome dude) about angels and demons and Heaven and Hell. However, what I noticed was that at the end of all of his sermons, He has people (those who are willing) stand up and surrender their lives to Christ. I wondered what that was about. I did more research and realized that Jesus Christ the Son of God had died for all sins. Sure I have heard that before you know "Jesus died for us" but it clicked and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt guilty. I googled "too guilty to come to Christ" or something like that and I opened up an article and the line that was a game changer for me was "Jesus Christ died for all past, present, and future sins for all past, present, and future people." The next day (I think) I was on my way to Walmart to get bible study supplies so I could learn more from the bible before I surrendered my life to Christ (dumb excuse lol) and I believe I had MercyMe's "Beautiful" on the radio. It hit me just right. In my heart I surrendered. I affirmed to Him that He is Lord and Savior, choking on the words 'Forgive me', and asking him to come into my heart and right after asking helping to save my family. Yes there was an "emotional response" involved. By the time I'm done with this I'm recovering in a secluded area of the Walmart parking lot, I recover, I get my Bible study materials I go home. This is where the magic happens (or His power really). First off, I don't exaggerate, I am to the truth black and white. Alright, well when I prayed to Jesus for that first time. I was instantly changed. Now I didn't feel it right away I was still recovering and all. It took me about an hour afterwards when I got home to realize I was changed. All my anger, sadness, loneliness, and insecurities were gone. Poof! How did I get rid of the degree of loneliness I was feeling? Plain and simple, I wasn't alone anymore. For the next three days what a guy dubbed the 'honeymoon phase', God and Heaven were more real to me than the Earth we walk on. I kid you not. I could look up into the mountains and up at my work's ceiling and say to myself 'wow how temporary this world is.' Then the 4th day came and that kinda went away and I panicked lol thats a whole other thing in itself. This is my testimony. On to the next thing!

        What I struggle with:
        I struggle with if I am a genuine Christian or not. I struggle with letting my feelings be my relationship with Christ. When I feel down, I think something is wrong. Trying to live by faith is INCREDIBLY TOUGH and that is why I question if I am genuine or not. When I have no joyous feelings I just look at this world and it's still the same hopeless wasteland it was before I became a Christian and my feelings play into that. It is hard to have faith in God without the emotion of it. The feeling of being relaxed and the RAH! to it and wanting to go share the gospel. Because I dont feel like this it makes me worry, it makes me panic if I am a genuine Christian or not. I can deal with anything knowing 100% that I am a child of God and will be a child of God forever. But when it comes down to that I am struggling with or questioning, I panic.
        I am self-critical of myself and I believe I condemn myself quite a bit. Onto the next thing!

        What I have done with my faith:
        There is by no means of bragging of this, most of these things I have done I haven't told anyone I know and see. I don't to avoid the risk of temptation of bragging or being prideful. Just trying to figure things out.

        -Shared the gospel ~30 times mostly with co-workers.
        -Went to a store and bought quite a bit of food and made food and visited a homeless guy, sat and ate with him a little bit, told him the reason I was there was to share the gospel, shared the gospel and my testimony, gave him a letter regarding the gospel, a small bible, and a grocery bag of food.
        -I work at BJ's Restaurant. I saw a lady in a wheelchair who would come everyone once in a while. Not too sure if the Spirit was leading me or if it was me feeling bad that she was in a wheelchair, but felt led to share the gospel with her. Didn't do it the first time. Prayed before going into work for her to be there. She was there. I chickened out. Prayed again later on for her to be there. She was there. Sat with her during a semi busy day and shared the gospel with her (i hate being the center of attention and I am sure my co-workers were looking at me.)
        -Wrote out a letter to my Dad (our relationship is near non-existent) basically forgiving him for the past and sharing my faith.
        -Felt led to be a cop when I didnt want to be one. Did pre-academy requirements, didnt pass interviews.

        Why I think or condemn myself into thinking I am not a Christian:
        -I believe I am beginning to take the Gospel for granted.
        -I haven't shared my faith in a while.
        -Agitated with a couple brothers in Christ but love to see them
        -Struggle with the question if I love Jesus or not (trying to live by faith and not feelings)
        -Feeling I am being prideful when I dont want to be extremely vulnerable with my Father.
        -Struggle with if I should call God Father or not because I struggle with if I am a Christian or not.
        -Super stressful work environment committing same sins every night or every other night.
        -Feeling fake when I pray when I am being as genuine as can be
        -Super critical of myself and therefore super critical of others
        -having trouble not pressing the 'stop video' in my head quick enough
        -Didn't pray too much in my honeymoon phase but worshiped him in my heart
        -Didn't affirm to Jesus that He was the Son of God during my first prayer to him although I believed it in my heart.
        -Didnt say his name when I prayed to Him the first time but my heart was directed towards him
        -Dont feel much towards him when I pray to Him nowadays.

        The list can go on with tiny ridiculous things lol

        I believe the root of most of it is feeling fake in what I do if I dont feel genuine. I beat myself up for it. I 100% without a doubt want to be real. Genuine. Not faking anything. I've imagined myself coming to face to face with Jesus and telling me "Depart from me you worker of iniquity." How scary, heart-wrenching, and embarrassing it would be to realize I was fake.

        So yeah that being said y'all, I know this is the 'Comfort and encouragement' forum, but do me a favor. If it needs to be done, stab me in the chest. Enemies stab you in the back. Friends stab you in the chest. Just tell me the truth. Share you opinions. Share your experiences as a Christian and as a baby Christian.

        Thanks all for taking the time to read this!
        Don't be idle.. share your faith exercise what God has given you in order to gain strength.. stay in his word and pray always..

        Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

        6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.


        Jude
        A man is in a great place when he has no one to turn to but God.

        ~ Smith Wigglesworth

        sigpic

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

          Thanks all for the replies, they have been read and used to analyze myself!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

            Steve,

            You are who you are based off of what God says, not how you feel bro.

            Look at it like a train

            Faith is the engine

            Facts are the passenger cars

            Feelings are the caboose

            If you have faith, then that is what powers you

            The facts are what God reveals about who you are, not your feelings. If Jesus says He has set you free , then you are free. So glad you are in the family !

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

              Originally posted by Pbminimum View Post
              Steve,

              You are who you are based off of what God says, not how you feel bro.

              [...]

              The facts are what God reveals about who you are, not your feelings.
              Agreed.


              Nice OP... and welcome, othersteeve.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

                Heartfelt by me, and most certainly heartfelt testimony given by you. I agree with the other responses and only to add keep praying, keep reading the Word, and keep assembling with the elect. This ain't an easy walk, but worth walking. I like all the responses, but in particular, Pbminimum illustration of a train and the engine. Keep pressing forward. Thank you for your testimony as I found it parallel to mine in many ways. Upsized downsized chastised and not satisfied life and knowing the journey is hard. Blessings to you. Praying for you now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

                  Originally posted by othersteeve View Post
                  Alright y'all so a little bit of background. I'm roughly a 7 month old Christian. Basically the question of this post is in the title itself. It comes up time and time again and it is killin' me today. I'm pretty frustrated with going through the whole thing again. So I'll try to make this as organized as possible.

                  There will be a few components of this post that relate to the title's question:
                  -My Testimony
                  -What I struggle with
                  -What I have done with my faith

                  Thanks all for taking the time to read this!
                  Thanks for sharing brother. We've all had to go through this process of realizing we have something great and new, and yet not feeling worthy of it. I think you're doing everything right, except that it just takes time to know how to apply our knowledge of God to every day situations.

                  We tend to come on like gangbusters, feeling like we have to change the world, when the important change is simply going on within us. Give yourself time to grow. The Spirit comes and goes as He wills. Sometimes you will feel Him. At other times, especially when you don't get what you want, you'll feel like He's abandoned you. Don't give up! This is truly a test to see where your heart is. Just learn to be patient is my best advice.

                  Yes, you're a real Christian. The most important evidence is that you responded to God's love, and care if that love is still there with you. It is, even at times when it seems to not be there. Again, be patient and your roots will grow deep.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

                    if you were perfect Jesus death was for nothing. u should read what Jesus says about worrying, it ain't healthy. growth and maturity happen over time as Jesus reveals more of himself to u. if u want fellowship with him try singing and thanking him for all u have.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

                      I have not read all......... I am 83 and did not get saved till my 50s.

                      But if you believe and love GOD and JESUS for what they did for you .......

                      You are saved ..........

                      JESUS suffered so much for us............
                      Eph. 2:8
                      For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
                      9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Am I a Genuine Christian?

                        Brother, if you have come to understand that your sin is a serious problem then you have discovered the truth. If you believe Christ can and will forgive your sins if you ask him, you're a Christian. The next step is to pray that God will lead you to a church family where you can be taught and nurtured; also take it upon yourself to read the Bible for yourself and try to understand it. Romans 10:2 says: "For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge." In other words, it's good to care for others and to have a desire to share your faith, but it must be done God's way. If you've taken the first steps, I'd suggest you now follow the Lord's instructions by getting baptized (immersed) and confessing Him publicly. There's nothing quite like having your sins washed away through baptism. Not that baptism can save you, it's an outward expression of faith and symbolizes in you Christ's death, burial and resurrection.

                        Comment

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