I do not care to be called a Christian. I care to be like my savior, Jesus Christ, in thought and action. If I achieve that whether you call me a Christian or not is of little consequence to me.
I do not care to “look” Christian. I care to “be” Christian. I remember realizing in my early teens that I was a violent person. I remember trying to not like being a bully. I remember wanting to be better. I remember failing. I remember when, by the grace of God, I changed; but I didn’t know when I changed. I remember his mercy the whole way through covering me. I remember his love upon me, encouraging me to believe.
And later in life, when I was completely bound in the shackles of a porn addiction, I remember, hating myself. For many reasons: for my lack of self-control, for participating in an industry that perpetuates a gross diminishing of a beautiful experience between a wife and her husband. I remember, the pull. Oh the pull! I feared for my future, would this pull ever diminish; would it ever weaken? I remember when I gave myself to the message of God’s unfailing love and constant grace. I remember worrying that I would become a walking contradiction: claiming to have been made righteous by God but living short of that righteousness. I had finally come to believe that if God says His children are free then it must be true, but I wondered, “Would I ever be truly free?” Then it happened! Without fanfare or introduction. The taste for those images in print, and on the screen was gone. Somehow, this was managed without turning me into some kind of prude and without me needing to become bitter or repressed. It was so… easy. It was like a dream.
And now, I will tell you what I know. Christianity is not simply forgiveness of sins as wonderful as that is to have. Christianity offers us the life of God to have within us so that we can live the life of God — the life that God intended us to have. This is that eternal life that was in Jesus Christ, and is now available to everyone. All you have to do is believe. This is the Christianity of those who first heard Jesus and followed Him. This is the Christianity that confesses, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” This is my Christianity.