I have been recollecting a bit lately about what my life looked like just after I was saved. It’s interesting to remember how some things in my life changed instantly and how other things were harder to change. I am certainly far from Christ-like, but like that old advertisement says, “I’ve come a long way, baby!”
While it’s nice to see that I am making progress in my walk with the Lord, albeit slower than I care to admit, I mostly like to look back on my walk because of the insight it provides. Why did I struggle with certain areas, why did I fail in others? What can I learn from the bumps in the road?
When I gave my life to Christ I was in my late-twenties. I was a fairly responsible adult with a good job and pretty normal life. Therefore my conversion didn’t require many drastic changes in my outward life.
I did however love to listen to Howard Stern on the radio. For those who are not familiar with Howard, he had a talk radio program in the mornings that was quite funny but contained a lot of obscene content. I had listened to Howard for years, and while I was never fond of the obscene stuff, there was a lot of comical material in between that I loved.
Once I became a Christian I started to feel a bit awkward about listening to Howard’s program, but I didn’t stop. I’d turn off the radio when the topics got too lewd and tune back in later. I would disapprove of some of the language and antics, but it was funny. As long as I disapproved of the bad stuff and didn’t let it tempt me somehow, why couldn’t I enjoy it?
Looking back I realized why I justified my position for so long. It was because I didn’t want to change. Listening to that radio show was something I enjoyed - it made me laugh every morning. I didn’t want to give that up. So for many months I never even thought through whether it was right or wrong (certainly never seeked God’s counsel) because I didn’t want the answer.
I have come a long way from those days but I still struggle with some of these kinds of issues. Being in the world but not of the world can be tough. For me, it’s a daily struggle. But I have learned to question my motives to ensure that I’m seeking God’s will and not my own. Over the years many of my past enjoyments have disappeared from my life. But what God has in store for me instead is so much better. Why would I resist?
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
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