No Perfect People Allowed

No Perfect People Allowed

Seek to know Jesus, not to fulfill the requirements of your religion.
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I have struggled a lot with wanting to have fun and embrace my youth and wanting to fully surrender myself to God and let him use me.

After typing that sentence, I realized how ridiculous it sounds. Growing up as a believer, I know what powerful things God can do when you let him. But growing up in a secular world, I know that it is not as easy as it sounds. Because while I can fill myself up with truths from the Bible and go to church and listen to podcasts by my favorite pastors, I am still going to have to go out into the world and hear what they say.

It is hard to not want to take part in what the world has to offer.

I am now in my second semester of freshman year. I have made it through the difficult time of transition to living on my own, I am rarely homesick anymore, I have new friends, and I am finding out more about myself each day. It is crazy to think that I have four months of freshman year left – it feels like I moved in last week.

When I realize how quickly college is passing by, it makes me want to take full advantage of the time that I am in. It makes me want to go out and have fun, late nights with my friends. It makes me want to study and make good grades in the classes that I have before they get too terribly difficult. It makes me want to hold on to the moments that I am experiencing and live them fully.

God gave us life on earth to live to the fullest, but sometimes I feel guilty if I don’t want to spend every waking moment reading my Bible or going to church. I feel like I am not doing my part as a believer if I want to go out in college. I get caught up in the religion factor of Christianity when I should be focusing on a relationship with my creator.

Being a Christian is not about perfect living. It is the complete opposite. Sometimes I get caught up in the idea that in order to call myself a Christian, I have to be as close to perfect as humanly possible. The entire reason that a relationship with God is so amazing is because we are able to be imperfect. We are saved and chosen and freed and desired despite how broken and imperfect we are. As hard as I try sometimes to act like I have everything together, God knows that I don’t and loves me anyway.

In this world, we will have trouble. Whether this trouble is a loss of a family member, a medical condition, an internal struggle, or a combination of these and more, take heart, Jesus has overcome the world. Jesus didn’t die for us to live perfect lives and do everything right.

The third chapter of John says that God sent his son not to condemn, but to save. Thousands of testimonies are built around the fact that we are so messed up and realize that we can’t do it on our own. Romans 3:23-24 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” No one in this world deserves what he has to give us, yet we can get it anyway.

It is finished. Salvation is freely given by grace through faith. It has nothing to do with the deeds that we do or how well we live our lives. Therefore, while it is important to build the kingdom and do our part as Jesus’s hands and feet in the world, it is also important to not get caught up in the “rules” of being a Christian.

God’s greatest desire is to know us and for us to know him. So before trying your best to cancel out the amount of mistakes you’ve made with the amount of Starbucks you’ve bought for the person behind you, remember that God wants a relationship, not a list of the things you have done or not done.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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The Importance Of God Is So Much More Valuable Than The Importance Of Social Media

Lasting value comes from God, not a social media account.

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All the time while I am scrolling through my Instagram feed, I see girls and guys post pictures that show them at parties and other social gatherings. When I am heading to work and class on the bus, I always see girls take selfies and I just shake my head. I think "why would a guy care if your hair looks good on a bus?" I genuinely don't understand the reason why girls take many selfies.

I don't understand why many of millennials today place so much of their value on their social media accounts. The truth behind the fun photos on the "gram" and the numerous selfies on Snapchat is a human with a flawed life. A life that is not perfect.

Our lives not being perfect is just the reality of our human status. As long as we are in human bodies, we will never be perfect. So why does our generation place so much importance on social media, something that in the grand scheme of things, doesn't matter that much?

We should find our value, our importance and our glory from the Lord.

The Lord is the only person who can give our lives meaning and our lives purpose. We are uniquely designed by God with different gifts given to us by Him. The purpose of a Christian's life is to live out their lives for God. We should use our gifts given to us by God to bring glory to His name.

Now I understand that not everyone is a believer of Jesus Christ. That is okay. God designed us to have free will. A free will to choose whether to serve Him or not. It's a heavy, very personal choice. Not everyone wants to live out their lives for God.

But these people who are not believers are missing out on the love, kindness, joy, mercy, and goodness only the Lord can provide.

To those people, I feel sorry for you and I am praying for you daily. I hope everyone in this world gives their lives over to the Lord. A life serving the Lord is a rewarding life. Nothing can compare to the joy you feel when you give your life over to God. Nothing can compare to the joy you feel when you lead a lost person to Christ.

I hope you can find your hope and your value in Jesus Christ and God.

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