When it came to being a good Christian girl, I thought I had it all figured out. I abstained from sex, didn’t smoke, curse or walk around with my chest hanging out (mainly because I didn’t have one). I assumed that people who did those things lacked self-control especially when there were so many better things to do like late night Harry Potter debates ( i.e. was Snape really a villain in Harry Potter). I still struggled with low self-esteem, unrequited love for a classmate & genuine teen angst but I thought had the good girl routine on lockdown.
Until my first night at college where I wound up at a frat house where everyone was drinking jungle juice and said frat guy’s apartment at 3am, wondering how I’d gone from board games to this and grateful that in both situations just saying no was enough. As Christians we can get so focused on what not to do that we forget what to do. As my pastor said “the goal of the Christian life is not to abstain from evil but to be fruitful.” A fruitful life is measured by what we do for the kingdom and God’s glory. It is important that we “hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus,” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-23 NIV) so that we can be a light to this world.
But being a light does not mean not having sex or not getting drunk it also means not lying, being lazy, lust-filled, lukewarm, rude or greedy. There are so many sins that I struggled with including selfishness and gossiping yet because I wasn’t doing the ‘big two’ I thought I was pleasing God. In the church we have become very good at placing certain sins on pedestals as being worse than others and Satan will whisper in our ears, ‘so what you lied to your boss or cheated on that test its not like you robbed a bank or committed abortion’. But the first part of 1 John 5:17 says “all unrighteousness is sin” in God’s eyes sin is sin and it is only by His immeasurable grace and mercy that, through the blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven.