Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: Living a Lie
By Sue Falcone
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I was not raised in a great family environment. I lacked security, the sense of belonging, and love. Jesus offered that to me; so I ran to Him one Sunday morning when I was only nine years old.
I didn't know all about the Bible, and what God really wanted from me, but I did understand I wanted to be a part of Him for the rest of my life.
I went home that day joyful and at peace. My circumstances were not changed, but I was. I didn't tell my family anything about what had happened to me. I wasn't sure what was next until a few days later the pastor showed up at my home.
He wanted to see my Mom and talk with her about my joining the church, and what it meant to be baptized as a follower of Jesus Christ. I was excited because this was what I so longed for, to belong to a church and to Jesus. When he met my Mom, the story changed for me. She was her same angry self, and was not kind to the pastor. I was embarrassed.
She made me leave the room, and later I learned she explained to him that it was impossible for me to be baptized because our family was afraid of water, and as I was very overweight, she did want others to laugh at me anymore than they already did. She told him the only reason she let me come on Sundays was so she could sleep and do what she had to do without me bothering or worrying her. She refused to give her permission for me to be baptized and become a member of that church.
After the pastor left my Mom told me that there was no way for me to ever be accepted by God or anyone, and that was the end of that. I cried for hours. I longed for God to take me out of this place, but I didn't know how to ask.
The next Sunday, I went to church, and the pastor said he wanted to talk to me. He said he knew I was hurt and upset; and that he had discussed my situation over with the church. I was going to become a member without having to be baptized. He assured me I would have the same status as others for life. He told me I was loved by God and this church, and not to be afraid.
I was elated. God truly had worked this out for me. I didn't have to go in the deep water, but I could be just the same as everyone else.
As the years went by, I stayed in church, and I was always able to become a full member. I lived the lie of having been baptized, and had the paper to prove it; until one Sunday at my church. This particular Sunday my family was ill, and had stayed home. Little did I know this was the day that my lie was going to be exposed.
As we settled in to hear the pastor's message, he shared God's simple plan for us, and what Jesus had done for us, and what we needed to do to belong to Him as a follower. In my heart I felt a sadness come over me. Up came the lie I had lived for many years. I was not baptized, and Jesus wanted me to admit that and come totally to Him.
This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. To stand and admit I was living a lie. Although this lie did not hurt anyone else, and no one would have probably ever found out; I knew I could not have the relationship with God that He desired because I had not fully obeyed His commandment to be baptized.
God showed me how to admit my lie, and then to be baptized. It was such a blessed event, because once I admitted my lie, my daughter accepted Jesus as her Savior, and we were baptized at the same time.
I thank God for that church of my beginning journey to Jesus. They did what they felt was a good solution, not knowing the final outcome.
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