“I am not my faith”

I am a Christian. I am also a sinner. I have doubts. I have insecurities. I struggle with the doubting voice that tells me that my sins are too great to be forgiven by God. I know what it is like to feel unworthy of forgiveness. And I feel like more Christians struggle with this than we let on. I’ve gone through things in my life that I can confidently say do not point towards Christ or my relationship with him. I have gone through things that would label me as a hypocrite in the eyes of non-believers. I have struggled with the same things that every human being has struggled with. I have been tempted by things in life, just like everyone else. I am tired of people thinking that just because I am a Christian I have everything put together in my life all the time. I am tired of people assuming that because I have God I don’t go through trials in my life. This is such a clouded perspective that people have of the life of a Christian. People don’t realize that I am not promised a carefree life. I will be tempted; I’m human! I struggle with telling people that I have a hard time with the same things they do. What if they think less of me? What if I create a stain on their view of Christianity because of me? And most of all, what if God doesn’t forgive me for all of it? Yes, God is love. But he is also a fair and just God. I shame Him every day, and I shame myself. What if I wasn’t forgiven for my sins, and worse, what if he remembered each and every one of them?

All of these questions and doubts have created something inside of me that fears someone hearing about my faults and mistakes and holding them against me. I am scared to disappoint others. I am scared to let others know that I struggle with things. They know I am a Christian, so I should act like I have everything put together, right? If I mess up, I have a voice in the back of my head saying, “Ooooo, Erin! What a horrible Christian you are…” It makes me second-guess about telling people, especially friends, about my faults. I constantly am asking for forgiveness, and I have been taught that I am forgiven for my sins even before I think about doing them. I have a difficult time forgiving myself, and sometimes I feel like if I can’t forgive myself and others can’t forgive me, then why should God? How am I worthy of that? I’m really not. No one is, but He forgives me anyways. I need to realize that He has forgiven me, and all that is left for me to do is forgive myself.

I think a lot of people struggle with the insecurity of not being good enough or worthy enough to be forgiven or accepted by God. The beauty of it all is that we are all sinners, and yet, that does not define us. We are not just our faith, but also our trust, our relationship with Christ, our love for others, and our love for God. There is so much more to Christianity other than faith, though it is the most important part of it. I need to use my insecurity to reach out to others in the hopes of bringing more people to understand Christianity better. Christians are not perfect; we do sin and we have a difficult time accepting the forgiveness that we don’t deserve, but that Christ offers. I think it is a really sweet message that should be shared more often. And I think that if more non-believers were to realize that we struggle with the same things, they would have their eyes opened to what really happens in a life filled with Christ.