Becoming a Christian isn’t just about believing in God, or accepting what Jesus did to enable us to come back to God after that regrettable incident with a piece of fruit, it’s completely life-changing. One of the most radical changes is that you switch from living a ‘me first’ life to living a ‘God first’ life. It’s not easy and I frequently fail at it. However, there’s no getting away from the evidence in my own life that if I put God first, everything seems to slot more easily into place.
What does that look like?
It means that my days run better when I start the day with meditation, prayer and Bible reading rather than BBC News and Facebook. It means that I worry less about what the world thinks of me and more about what God thinks of me. It means that I’m responding to my husband’s adultery in a way that not everyone agrees with. That’s because my values and beliefs are different to the world’s and my internal Sat Nav is set to a different destination. The last one has been quite shocking to experience. When he finally told me, in June, what had been going on for the past 6 months, I can only report that I experienced peace and clarity in a way I never previously have. Yes, I have been extremely sad and angry at times, but my over-riding experience has been defined by one truth: I love him. For me, then, my knowledge of the Bible draws me to this passage:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
You may find it incomprehensible that I can treat a man who has betrayed me with the kindness that he would expect if he had remained faithful. I do too, because I can be a sharp-tongued, sarcastic so-and-so at times. And yet over the last five months, there has been something within me – a wellspring of patience and calm at an incredibly difficult time. That’s not to say I don’t have wobbly moments. But, my choice to take my cues on how I act from the Bible and not women’s magazines means that I’m not a raging ball of anger, when the world would say that I have every right to be. I’m not here to play the victim, I’m here to enjoy, not endure.
Enjoy Not Endure – Yvonne Lyon