I’ve spent a lot of time around Christians over the past 20 years since my rebirth from atheism, and the one common feature I’ve noticed is how messed up most of them are. They are burdened by any number of problems, whether health problems, relationship problems, or financial problems. If they have children, their kids are (as my grandmother used to say) “holy terrors”; if they’re married, the marriage is on the rocks; if they have a house or car, they’re money pits always in need of repairs; and if they’re working, they hate their boss, their job, or both.
On the surface, though, everything is wine and roses. It’s as if Christians feel the need to project a sense that that they have it all together, even if behind the scenes they’re falling apart.
This is not the way to live your life on Earth or the way to get home to Heaven. Having no joy and no peace and stumbling from one crisis to another will lead you the opposite way of Heaven and make you very miserable along the way. I lived that kind of life as an atheist, and I see the same heaviness, joylessness, anxiety, confusion and PAIN that I felt as an unbeliever reflected in believers.
How can that be? How can people who claim to have faith in God and be followers of Jesus have lives that are so messed up and so full of pain?
The answer is that most of these believers aren’t born again.
They aren’t born again because they have unrepented sin.
They have unrepented sin because they refuse to acknowledge they even have sin let alone want to get rid of it.
Being unrepentant and living in a sinful state, they don’t want to be born again. Their sin blinds them to the necessity of spiritual rebirth.
This is too bad because spiritual rebirth is the one thing that will kill all their pain at once.
All of it.
Like a one-shot spiritual pain-killer administered by the One and Only Dr. God.
The day I was born again was the worst day of my life. The only way things could have been any worse was if I’d actually arrived in Hell rather than just landed on the doorstep. The doorstep to Hell was close enough. If you’ve ever felt that degree of pain, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It was so extreme, it killed me. That’s when God intervened, and that’s why I’m here today, telling you about how my worst day became my best day, and how that best day continues.
I know now that the pain I felt was the pain I’d earned. I know now that the pain was unrepented sin on my soul, though at the time, in my sins, I blamed everyone else and circumstances for my pain. That is the hallmark of unrepentance – blaming others (including the devil) for your problems, and that’s what I see in most Christians today. Things go south in their lives, and they blame someone else or “the enemy” for tripping them up.
Finger-pointing gets you nowhere, unless you’re standing in front of a mirror, pointing at yourself.
Yes, it can be hard – very hard – to accept that the pain you feel is the pain you’ve earned, but once you take that on as truth, you open yourself to God’s mercy and grace. Spiritual rebirth is living in God’s grace, which is the gift of his mercy.
But to get God’s mercy, you must first extend mercy to those who’ve wronged you.
You need to love your enemies – not your spiritual enemies, your human ones.
All of your human ones, even the humans you feel you could never forgive.
You need to forgive everyone who’s wronged you FIRST, and then God will forgive you, and in forgiving you, he will heal you.
That’s the formula Jesus taught us, and it still applies.
You don’t have to tell the people you forgive them (most people will either not remember they’ve wronged you or won’t believe that they’ve wronged you); you just have to make the choice to forgive, and God will take it from there.
And then you will actually love your enemies. Your love will overflow, and you’ll be able to pray for them with a sincere heart, and miracles will follow.
Don’t go back on your forgiveness (don’t ever again mention what was done to you or who did it), and God will continue his mercy and grace towards you.
This is the life of spiritual rebirth.
This is the life of joy, peace, clarity, groundedness, and intimacy with God and Jesus, through God’s Spirit. This is not a perfect life and this is not a life that guarantees you won’t make mistakes or sin again (you’re human; you still have free will, so you can still sin), but it is a life that faces adversity head-on WITH GOD’S HELP, not trying to numb it with booze or pills or pretending there is no problem, but searching first to see what is at the root of the adversity, and always being ready to choose forgiveness, no matter what the situation.
Dr. God is a perfect healer. I was perfectly healed the day I was born again: All the pain was gone. Anyone can be perfectly healed through spiritual rebirth. Anyone can have their pain replaced by ecstasy and ongoing joy. This gift is waiting for whoever wants it.
Repent and choose to forgive, and the gift of God’s mercy – spiritual rebirth – will be yours.