Have you ever asked yourself: “Am I really a Christian?” Over and over, I have witnessed powerful fears in women, myself included. One exhausted woman told me: “I am tired of this. I hate my sin. I hate my hypocrisy. I’m just done with it all.”
Another shared: “When I constantly struggling with the same thing, I can see how people can begin to doubt their salvation.”
There are certainly cases in which true conversion has not occurred. But there are also many cases in which one’s Christianity is doubted needlessly.
The Process of Growth
Suppose a baby in the process of being weaned begins to eat “real food,” and then declares, “Now I can see the weakness of breast milk in comparison to real food! I have not been truly growing until now!” The baby then despises the milk that nourished it from its first day of life.
Later on, the baby’s new-grown toddler teeth allow it to graduate from pureed baby food to adult meals. The toddler states, “I must now be eating for the first time in my life! How deluded I was to think that I could grow on mush!” The toddler then believes that only adult food is nutritious, and views younger children who drink milk or who eat baby food with patronizing pity.
Can’t you see that this is what we do when we constantly expect our faith to be all grown-up before it can be faith at all? When Jesus Christ said that whoever would enter Heaven must have faith like a little child (Matthew 18:3), He was pointing out that a child’s faith is very simple and immature, but it still counts.
No one receives a fully-grown faith from the very beginning. Every stage of faith teaches us something new, but that does not mean that every previous stage was unbelief and the current stage is true belief. How can we take the third step if we have not taken the first and second?
2 Corinthians 4:16
The Process of Healing
Remember, Jesus did not come for the well; He came for the sick. Yes, His patients are not supposed to remain in their sickness, but every treatment takes time. We are saved once, but the process of sanctification (becoming holy) takes a lifetime. For example, a diseased person may become well, but a healthy lifestyle and good habits are necessary to maintain that good health. We don’t usually expect that person to exhibit robust health for every single day of her life, but we do expect to see an overall trend of health.
It is the same with the Christian life. Sin is a part of living on earth. We need not expect the Christian to exhibit perfection consistently, but we should expect to see the work of the Holy Spirit as He weeds out sin and plants fruits of righteousness. It’s a lifetime process.
We cannot let the Holy Spirit do His work if we panic when we don’t see fruit in the time-table that we expect, any more than we can garden well if we keep digging up the seeds we have planted to see if they have sprouted yet. Look at the lifetime, not the day.
The Real Christian Life
If you’re not sure whether you’re saved, the question “Am I really saved?” is still irrelevant, because nothing prevents you from living for Jesus Christ from this moment on.
The real Christian life is not about constantly looking over your shoulder to see if you are truly God’s child. The real Christian life is steeped in the power and confidence of the Holy Spirit, and in the knowledge that we may come boldly—not cringing—before the throne of grace to find mercy in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Stop second-guessing your salvation. Step out with a child’s faith and let your relationship with the Lord grow naturally.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.