Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine
By Julie Farrell
I recently prepared my faith story and practiced it with my Community Group. At the same time I committed to praying regularly for several neighbors, asking God to show them His love.
One day I was sitting with another mom while our sons played. She mentioned that her husband took her children to church and they were about to take their first communion. I asked her what her own spiritual background was.
She said that church and God were always something she was told she “should” do—and that she feels guilty about not taking the children to church regularly and believes her family looks down on her for that.
I told her that I could relate: God had been a part of my life since I can remember. My parents shared the love of Jesus with me since I was little, but I often felt like I “should” do things to keep up with my good-girl image. It wasn’t until much later in my life that I understood fully that God isn’t about guilt and what we should do; He is all about loving us unconditionally. Christ died on the cross and rose on the third day so that we are forgiven. It’s not about what I do or what I look like that makes me a Christ follower. I know that I am forgiven because of what Jesus did, not because of what I do.
I understood fully that God isn’t about guilt and what we should do; He is all about loving us unconditionally.
I asked if she understood what I was saying. She said she did, but she wasn’t ready to step toward Jesus quite yet. I told her that I didn’t want this decision to be in the category of something she “should” do, but instead something she really wants to do. When she is ready, I know that God is waiting. I also know that this was His plan for that day, not mine: He was planting seeds for His Kingdom.
I was lucky to be raised in a Christian home and decided to follow Jesus when I was nine. For most of my life, though, I mainly concentrated on “looking good.” At school and out with friends,
I would always have a smile on my face. I wanted people to think I “had it all together.” But at home, the real me came out—fighting with my sisters and parents. Even after I was married, I was often nicer to others than I was to my husband.
I was frustrated that everyone—including God—expected me to be perfect when I just couldn’t do it. Then, when I was 25, I read what the Bible says about how God wants to have a relationship with me. I realized God didn’t expect me to be perfect—He just wanted to know me, and wanted me to know Him. Now my failures don’t define me. I’m no longer trying to look good; I’m just trying to know God and His heart and plans for me.
Never underestimate the power of your story!
Telling our stories helps others to know us better and gives them a real-life picture of what it looks like to personally experience God’s grace—telling them how being a Christian is not about what we do, but what God did for us.
What story could you tell?
Visit our Stories page at wheatonbible.org/Stories and share your story of how God has changed/is changing your life!