As of late I have been struggling with my faith. I still consider myself a Christian, but I haven’t been acting like one. It seems that now that my life has returned to a somewhat normal (as normal as it can get) state, faith has taken a backseat. It easily and slowly faded into the background because life was easier again, for the first time in forever. I have been seeing some of my old behaviors and attitude come back in some situations, and it scares me.
When I first stopped drinking, I was determined to turn my life around and be a better Christian and better person all around. I want desperately to feel the way I did when I was reaching out to God so hard when I stopped to get me through. I want to drop down on my knees and cry out again for Him to help me. I don’t want to b complacent.
These may seem like easy things for most to overcome, but I am trying to figure out how to be a better Christian all the time, not just when life isn’t going so great. To some it comes easy, but to me it’s a hard task. I wasn’t raised in a religious family or religious surroundings. The push to be a God fearing Christian soldier as a kid wasn’t pushed on me. I ran through life doing as I pleased and not knowing how to pray or thank God for everything I had been given. I still struggle with that sometimes because sometimes I feel like I’m doing it wrong. I know, seems silly, but I just want to be a better person.
Being complacent in life when it’s good is something that I have found myself doing, instead of working to make each day better than the last like I did when I first stopped drinking.
I know there are the same canned messages people spout out, just like in AA, that are along the lines of, “read the Bible every day,” “pray several times a day,” “go to church,” etc. I know these things help, but it is on a deeper level that I want to be better. I want to feel it in my bones and see it spew from me. I want to stand up tall and say I’m a Christian, and feel it on the inside too.
I’ve just been feeling down about it lately and hoped that writing it down and putting it out there would somehow make me feel better and more determined than before. It has helped somewhat, but I know I have a lot of work to do.
It’s no secret that my favorite book of the Bible is Philippians, I even wear a scripture proudly on my arm, Philippians 4:13. A passage from Philippians I keep reminding myself of while I am feeling down is Philippians 4:6-7:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
A prayer that a friend shared with me, the Renew Prayer has helped me as well. To renew my desire to be a better person.
Lord, We are Your people, the sheep of Your flock.
Heal the sheep who are wounded, Touch the sheep who are in pain,
Clean the sheep who are soiled, Warm the lambs who are cold.
Help us to know the Father’s love through Jesus the Shepherd and through His Spirit.
Help us to lift up that love, and show it all over this land.
Help us to build love on justice and justice on love.
Help us to believe mightily, hope joyfully, love Divinely.
Renew us that we may renew the face of the earth.