Denise Harris
Publication Design Specialist

What being a Christian means to me.

Being a Christian means God chose me. God chose me to have a relationship with Him and to fulfill His purpose for my life. I have not always known these truths, but through my faith and His love and grace, I have developed as a Christian who, recognizing what God has done for me, wants to respond in such a way as to please Him.

When I was a child, life was so simple. Hearing "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so..." was all I needed. Being a Christian meant someone loved me. Not that I was lacking in love - I grew up in a Christian home with loving parents. As I grew older I was taught right from wrong and moral values were instilled in me through the church and my parents. Along with this came my realization of sin. So when I told a lie or stole something from my brothers, I realized I was doing something wrong - and against God. This is when being a Christian meant - God loves me so much that He sent His son to die for those sins. That was it and I believed that was all.

My life was pretty typical until I left home and went to college. I left my parents, I left my brothers, I left my friends, I left my church and I left God. Now I was on my own. I was in charge and I was going to make all the decisions. And I really didn't do too bad. I made good grades and stayed out of trouble. So what was the big deal? I was a good person, wasn't I? Whoops - come to think of it I did make some awfully bad decisions and wasn't leading as good a life as some believed. In reality, I felt very much alone. I made decisions based on what I wanted to do and not on what God wanted me to do. I started to get mad at God for all the bad things that happened to me. Where was God in all of this?

Looking back, I now realize that God was right in the midst of it all, still watching over me. When I was at the lowest point in my life, He sent me a Christian who became my husband and spiritual leader. I began to see how God blessed me in other areas as well. Being a Christian means I believe God loves me so much He sent His son to die for my sins, that I must rely on God to guide me through each day.

With all this, my needs were fulfilled - or so I thought. I still felt something was missing in my life. I began to wonder what my life would have been like if I trusted God with everything from the start. What if I had let God point the way? I now try to trust God in all areas of my life. I say "try" because it is not easy. I still stumble. God has since led me in many directions I never thought I would go. And with the Holy Spirit's guidance who knows what I might become? Being a Christian also means doing what I can through Him to fulfill His purpose for my life. Being a Christian means God chose me.

"who have been chosen according to the fore-knowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1Peter 1:2

If you have any questions or comments you can E-Mail me at DHARRIS@CCE.OU.EDU