Published on September 12th, 2013 | by Nathaniel0
Why Jesus? Nathaniel Shares His Answer
One of the most profound and personal questions someone could ever ask. Out of all the belief systems, documented scientific studies, cumulative philosophical and theological findings, why choose Jesus? Why structure your life around what some believe to be a fantastical imagining? Why emulate a character who people have divided to love and hate?
Sometimes I wish I had some edge-of-the-cliff, near-death, life-slipping-through-my-fingers story for why I believe in Jesus. Sometimes I wish I had the drug-induced-binge of a testimony where Jesus physically manifested into a crock-pot and said, “Son, what are you cooking with your life?” But I don’t and I think that’s part of my testimony.
I was brought up in Christian household. My mom was a no-excuses, “you’ll be at church even if you decide to fake sick…again” kind of mom. We attended private Lutheran school from preschool to 6th grade. I didn’t question Christianity; it was embedded into my upbringing. And by all means, I’m grateful for that; it gave me a foundation. But looking back, I lived my life in religious synthetics unaware that cashmere was waiting on the other side of a personal relationship with Jesus.
I was never a spin-crazy-rebellious-kid. I think I was pretty respectful, somewhat disciplined, and committed to hard work. I never touched a drug. I rarely drank alcohol. I was Chaplin of my Boy Scout troop, involved in extra-curriculars and leadership activities, while maintaining a job. I thought those things made me a “good Christian” but for years I synthetically operated as a follower of Jesus. I believe I believed. However, I didn’t have a personally authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. I could go months without even looking inside my bible. But believe that it was right beside me on Sundays. I could go weeks without even thinking about praying. I could sin and feel no remorse. Yet, you better believe that when I had a major problem, I was questioning God’s existence.
I made the decision to authentically become a follower of Jesus when I saw the freedom that existed in that relationship. This happened when I moved out and started college; I had to decide what type of man I was going to be. For years, I was performer in every sense of the word. I could perform “Christian,” in a capella, vibrato, falsetto, cadenza, fermata- you name it. On the outside, I appeared generous and sincere but on the inside I was struggling with “doing enough”- being “Christian enough.”
So why Jesus? I chose to enter a relationship with Christ because I found renewal, a transformational shift in the paradigm of how I saw myself, others, and the world around me. It didn’t take a boisterous-over-the-top change, but it did take the subtle conditioning of my heart. This shift said that unlike many other belief systems, I was enough because I was enough. And no pastor, religious tunic-wearing “prophet” could tell me otherwise. I didn’t have to earn anything. I didn’t have to pretend. I could come in my brokenness and by faith live an authentic life. I escaped the legalism and embraced the grace that said, “Yes, I continually mess up, but I am progressing and God sees the intention of my heart.”
Today, we’re so far removed from the spiritual conversation. We’ve come to view the church collective as a hypocrites’ institution, rather than a communal hospital for those searching for truth. People who declare their faith are being ridiculed by mainstream media, declared a “Tim-Tebow-Jonas-Brothers-Mel-Gibson” type. We are becoming less sensitive to things that are intangible, living off of anemic religion. I mean, can you describe a thought? Can you see it? But you know it exist, right? In that same way, I am confident in my belief in Jesus because I have the testimony of how I’ve been transformed through Him. Sometimes the most truthful testimonies are the ones we can’t see- the ones that don’t directly make us richer, more powerful, or famous, but make us more whole.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “What this means is those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!”