In college, my Christian faith has been put to the test. I entered Colorado State not necessarily knowing why I was a Christian, but just going to church and following the Bible because that is what made my parents proud. When I was finally on my own and I was responsible for finding my own church and holding myself accountable, my faith started to dwindle. I still went to church on Sundays, but not consistently. I would pray, but only in times of need. Even though I wasn’t as strong with my faith, I would still defend it to anyone who inquired. One day, somebody asked me a question that completely changed my outlook on religion. “Why would you waste your time believing in something you don’t know is real?”
Normally people would argue about evolution, or that the Bible is sexist and homophobic, but it is not usual for someone to ask about wasted time. This incited self reflection… am I wasting my time going to church, praying, etc.? That is when I realized that even if I die and there is no God, I would not regret living my life trying to follow the Bible. This question renewed my passion for God.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying by any means that I am perfect, that I am better than anyone because I am a Christian, or that I judge people who do things that I choose not to do. There are countless amounts of mistakes that I have made and wish that I could take back, and there are hundreds of people who live their lives with immense amounts of faith that I aspire to be like. Yet, I am still happy to be a Christian because the values that the Bible outlines (as I am sure many other faiths do) inspire me to try and be a better person, and live my life for someone other than myself.
The Lord comforts people in their time of need, “Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, remember to whom you belong.” (Ephesians 2:19-22). He gives people hope when they are lost, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). Additionally, the Bible highlights important values; “It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from inside you –the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. That beauty will never disappear and it is worth very much to God” (Peter 3:3-4). There are countless verses in the Bible that positively impact many lives. People become more patient and caring when they strive to live life for God.
The gifts my family made for Operation Christmas Child, a program through Samaritan’s Purse a Christian organization, will help brighten the holidays for countless kids whether God exists or not. The mission trips to developing countries around the world for building homes and helping out the community will positively impact people’s lives whether God exists or not. The sense of community that the church brings for members through after school programs, choirs, youth groups and charity events, will change countless individuals lives whether God exists or not.
I am a passionate and stubborn individual and will fight until a subject is dead, but when I am thinking about the Lord and how he would judge my actions; I am less quick to anger. God helps humble me, I become less selfish, and I am always asking for forgiveness. I realize that I am an imperfect person, but because of Jesus I can still live a happy life. So, even if no God exists, and I spent countless hours at church praying to an imaginary character, I will not regret being a Christian, because it has made me a better person.