I went to a Christian school when I was young, And most of the time I was there, I felt worthless and inferior. The system seemed to operate on guilt and fear and intimidation. Those familiar foes of guilt, fear & intimidation have popped up time and time again since then. Often somehow attached to the name of Jesus Christ. Some of the people who I know who grew up with those painful memories pretty much forsook anything to do with the name of Jesus because of that-thankfully, though I didn't totally understand, I did not shy away from pursuing a relationship with God-even though He had often been portrayed as some kind of sadist.
But fear, guilt and intimidation have been a part of my life for so long. And they don't bring me any happiness. But they become such a part of you, that when you do something out of nothing but love, and you enjoy it and feel free-it actually FEELS wrong, and something tells you it is wrong, or selfish, or bad. These feelings cannot be of God-because where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty and these feelings bring us into bondage, and despair. A life lived out of nothing but feelings of duty, and guilt will bring nothing but discouragement. Fear is not a healthy motivation.
I have spent most of the past 27 years, trying tirelessly to please and appease others. I try to earn people's respect, and admiration. I try not to make waves. I try to be liked. I look for approval. I try not to offend. Does it work? No. Not so much. Because no matter how hard you try to please everyone, it just isn't going to work. I have to do what I feel is right, PERIOD, and stop trying to please and appease-I am not a slave. I am free.
There have been COUNTLESS times when I am afraid to act a certain way, say a certain thing, like a certain thing, go a certain place, etc. Becuse of the fear of MAN, but the Bible says the fear of man bringeth a snare, and that God has not given us the spirit of fear.
Listen, there is ABSOLUTELY no way that you can put me into a category when it comes to my faith, I am NOT a good fundamentalist NOR am I a good evangelical. lol Guess what? It doesn't matter. Let the left, and the right, and even the middle-roaders, condemn me and try n change me all they want. It doesn't matter.
And no matter how hard I work or where I work some will criticize me or say I'm unstable, I work too little or I work too much...so what! There can only be one God in my life. If I have to worship every single person who thinks they are god in my life, well, that is just too big of a task for me. It amazes me how many people think they speak for God. If they all do than God is one confused Fellow...
man, I'm so over it. I'm not going to spend the next 27 years of life the same way I've spent the first-being intimidated by men's opinions and trying to earn something that is impossible to attain.
If you want to live your life in guilt and fear and condemnation, that is your decision. But I reject it. I refuse. I am free.