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Sunday, June 7, 2015

What a Difference!

Photo by Bev Lloyd-Roberts LRPS

I've been thinking a lot about the difference salvation can make in the life of a person; in particular, about the difference it had on me as a child. I was saved at the age of 11. I had an understanding of the Gospel when I started attending church a year before then, but I didn't really care about it. I wasn't interested in that. It wasn't until Easter day as an 11 yr. old that I realized where I was headed, and because I knew it wasn't Heaven, I was ready to repent. It's funny to think of an 11 yr. old repenting. What do they have to repent of? They're probably not alcoholics or rebellious like teens just yet. Probably not into drugs either. But we're all sinners and in need of change within our life regardless of what sins we struggle with. I remember a total change in my thought process taking place within my life afterwards. All of a sudden, I remember the age of 11 as being the year I started actually thinking about God constantly. I became concerned. I became aware that I needed to read and pray everyday, and I did so very faithfully. Not only that, I enjoyed those things as never before. I enjoyed listening to the sermons at church and was convicted by them constantly, whereas before I tuned them out and felt nothing. All of a sudden things began to change.

One change I vividly remember was that of my clothing. I mean, for a 10-11 yr. old, it's probably not going to be bad, but still, I remember church skirts being short and wearing short shorts year round as kid. Yeah, I was't quite yet a teen or a woman, so it wasn't that big of a deal to anyone else, but it became a big deal to me eventually. I remember one day looking down and seeing all the leg I was showing and thinking, "This is not what I should be wearing as a Christian." Nobody told me it was bad to wear shorts or anything mini. I don't even know where I got the idea from- I assume the Holy Spirit, because mom tells me now that back then I started telling her how to dress too. Even though nobody else thought the way I dressed mattered, at the time, I decided to quit wearing shorts. I like to say I haven't worn shorts since I was 11, because except for a few times when I bought board shorts and wore them, I've really never gone back to wearing shorts. It was a conviction brought up at just the right time, before the teen years began. Don't get me wrong, shorts can be worn by women as long as they're long enough to be appropriate, but I just stay away from them since it's hard to find long shorts anyway.

I also remember that around the same time of dealing with the previous conviction, a bunch of the youth group at church, of which I was not a part of at the time, got to speak at the service to tell the adults and little kids (like me) about what God had shown them through going to summer camp. At that time musicians such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, N'SYNC, Backstreet Boys, etc., were very popular, and I listened to them all. I had never thought twice about what I listened to, even though some of the lyrics were inappropriate. It just never phased me, until one of the teens who was a year older than me mentioned that she broke all of her non-Christian cds and decided to never again listen to non-Christian music. I was so moved and convicted that well . . . I didn't break my cds, but I got rid of them. I stopped listening to secular artists and moved on to contemporary Christian music. I won't say it's sinful to listen to secular music, since I might occasionally listen to secular artists once in a blue moon, but I don't recommend doing so just because you can get used to secular music and then let it seep into the rest of your life where you constantly listen to it. And as we know, most of the time secular artists are not people we want to look up to as they normally spout off vulgar language or have godless lifestyles that we don't want to mirror. As Christians we really should be directing our thoughts towards God constantly, and I have found that it's better to get a song about God stuck in your head than a secular song that can't glorify God. You're forming God-centered habits and making God the center of your life through Christian music. With that being said, I'm not saying all Christian music glorifies God, because I don't agree with certain Christian artists and their music. I just feel that you're more likely to glorify God by listening to music focused on Him.

With that being said, kids can repent and have convictions outside of their parents and other's opinions. I like to look back and think about all the changes God has made in my life and where I'd be now if it hadn't been for Him. It's really wonderful just reflect back on God's goodness then and now. What a difference a day made!

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