Someone said to me recently:

"Eh you so enthu about the whole religion shtick but also don’t count as Christian ah @_@"

And then…

"Oh, being a Christian must have really strict requirements." (No, in one sense, not at all, grace is freely available.)

I had earlier said something along the lines of, I don’t know if I can proudly call myself Christian.

If anyone wishes to call me that – I am honoured. To me, it means you think I follow Christ.

But wow, that’s not something to be taken lightly. I remember times in the past when I have worn the label a little too enthusiastically, and I just cringe in embarrassment – I am embarrassed about representing Jesus poorly.

And I am very embarrassed about the times when my "religion" has merely been a shtick.

The Bible says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). I think this person explains the phrase well. It means that following Christ is a lifelong process of shaping, of bringing something to fruition. A journey – hardly about a ticket to heaven. Hardly.

It’s a difficult one, but I have also known it, in bits and pieces, to be a truly happy one. I have not found anything happier in this life. A happiness that the world cannot take away – unless you count the ability of the world to entice with fakes, with lesser happy things which make you lose sight of the Reason to be happy. That is quite a powerful pull.

So often, I talk to people who’ve had bad experiences with the church and Christian people, and I resonate with their frustrations, their longings, their searchings. There is a very real estrangement going on. The thing that makes me saddest is to think I could’ve been (well, almost certainly am) one of those Christian people: lacking in obedience to love God with our hearts, souls, minds (Matt 22:37).

Heart: with our passions and affections. Oh how we lack love and compassion and grace – we don’t even understand the word "love" anymore…because we lack an understanding of biblical love and truth, and how intertwined they are.

Soul: erm…I don’t know what this means yet.

Mind: to think! I rarely hear people tell me to love God with my mind; but there it is in the Bible. To develop rational and critical thinking to the glory of God, with the brain he created. I am so grateful to the people who have helped me recognise the importance of this much neglected aspect of loving God. How entirely sad it is, that Christianity is not associated with rational thinking but with loopy rituals. But I’ve seen glimpses, I’ve seen glimpses to be convinced it is there, gold buried very deep.

I often ache for more. I don’t know how I should react to this: but I don’t often find the same aching in others, except in obscure places.

This flesh can be wounded and shaky
When there’s much too much travel
For one heart to take
Give us peace when we’re torn

Sigh I don’t know if I should post these sorts of things here. It just seems to me that keeping this hushed up doesn’t help.