‘I Hate Being a Christian’

Editorial: This is something I encountered some time ago, I thought it worth posting here. I wonder if anyone else has felt the same way – and been honest enough to admit it?

He looked at me with a sort of sheepish grin as he said it. He knew how it sounded, he’d been a Christian for many years, from a Christian family and had spent many years in ministry of one kind or another. I knew this guy, he wasn’t the sort to give up easily, and he had been dead set earnest in following Jesus, he took his faith seriously. Yet here he was with a statement that seemingly came out of nowhere. It startled me when it came out, but the way he said it, the look on his face, I didn’t doubt in that moment that he was speaking a truth from the depths of his heart. For a moment it seemed his soul was out there, naked for the world to see. It took him by surprise, took me by surprise too!

As I tried to tease out what he meant, what had happened to bring him to this confession, I uncovered a sense of hopelessness and tiredness. He had been struggling on with his faith and yet God it seemed was always out of reach, like running towards a point on the horizon but never arriving. He’d followed all the advice, sought help, endured, persevered; and yet it seemed to him that while others had moved with joy, with a sense of passion and purpose, he felt like he had run his course. He knew he was working for an eternal reward, but surely there should have been a few benefits along the way shouldn’t there?

‘Most people live lives of quiet desperation’ a philosopher once wrote. He might very well have been summing up this guy’s situation. As I pondered all of this it left me with more questions than answers. What had happened to his life? Was it sin? Bad advice given? A failure of the church? All of the above? And I couldn’t help but wonder where he could go to now. Was there any place for him? Who would help him? How would they help? How would he get through this?

I don’t think he’s given up on Jesus, I’m certain Jesus hasn’t given up on him, but I wonder where to from here for him? What does he do now? And what advice do I give him that doesn’t sound like ‘try harder’? Being a Christian isn’t an easy ride, but I don’t think it should be like this either.

About andy63

Auditorium/Facilities Manager at Kennedy Baptist College. Family man, Dockers Supporter, NFL and NBA tragic who loves the Red Bull Air Race and a good meal. A Christian who is grateful for grace and forgiveness and the fact that Jesus is alive.

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