15 Truths No One Will Tell You About Being a Christian

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

I’ve been trying to figure out God since I was a little kid. I messed around with Christian “stuff” until confronted with my selfish ways during my teens. That’s when I began to be serious about God. Now, 47 years later, He’s become an obsession of mine. I’m thankful for this journey and for what I’ve learned. Today, I share a few insights about this Christian adventure.  

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For newbies or veterans, these truths will help you navigate your way. 

1. The Christian life is a mystery.

When it comes to knowing God, don’t be surprised that you can’t figure Him out. How God saves us, transforms us, relates to us, and lives in us is experienced over a life-time. None of this can understood by pure intellect. Resist the temptation to put God in a box of your own making or in the box of some theological system. 

2. The Bible is a means to know God. 

It’s important to know the Bible. But, it is not an end in itself. Acquiring a lot of Bible information does not guarantee that you’ll know God. Approach the scriptures with a heart and mind to experience God through them. 

3. Being a Christian involves becoming humble. 

Getting the right information or feeling the right emotions might be how some Christians understand Christianity. Jesus wants you to come to Him and learn humility and restful faith as you learn to relate to the Father as He does. 

4. Christians can be mean as well as supportive.

There’s no excuse for behaving unkindly when kindness is to be a Christian trait. But many do not act like Christ or value Christlikeness for themselves. Keep your eyes on Jesus who will never let you down. 

5. Salvation is more than getting to heaven.

You may have had a conversion experience. But, in actuality, you will have many conversion experiences and opportunities to become someone who is saved. Salvation is about life in Christ and Christ’s life in you. Learn what that’s all about for now and all eternity. 

6. Being a Christian is difficult but fulfilling. 

It’s not easy to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. Yet, fullness is found only in Jesus Christ. There are joys and struggles on your Christian journey. The Triune God is with you every step of the way filling you with His mercy. 

7. Your church leaders often care more about their agenda than your soul and your relationship with God. 

Unfortunately, well-intended Christian leaders can get sidetracked from their main calling of shepherding souls. Often, their own soul is malnourished. Ministry success is a dangerous and subtle demon. So, be cautious about who you follow and hunger for Jesus Christ above all. 

8. Community is good but has limitations.

Keep your expectations in check. People cannot meet the needs that are designed to be met by God alone. 

9. Being a Christian is about union with the Trinity, about participation in the life of the Trinity.

You won’t hear this from too many people except Jesus, the Apostle Paul, St. Peter, all of the NT writers, and most traditional Christian thinkers/writers before the Reformation. There are huge implications to this simple statement. Take the rest of your life to explore those implications.   

10. Being a Christian means continual repentance. 

Living in repentance is a good thing since it means you’re dealing seriously with your ongoing sin and finding forgiveness with God. You are able to turn from your sin and to Christ at all times. Repentance is a regular activity for the Christian. 

11. Being a Christian is an invitation to be like Christ.

Sadly, modern Christianity makes being a Christian about morality, political stances, believing certain doctrines, supporting some cause, or being accepting of everyone. Who Jesus is and what He asks of us is easily forgotten. Don’t forget: you are about Jesus Christ. 

12. Learn to commune with God. 

You are now in a relationship with the Triune God. Relationships take time to develop. Spend time with God. Get to know Him. See how He operates in various situations of your life. Don’t do all the talking but be quiet when you’re with Him. Be attentive to His will. 

13. Finding a Christian group to belong to can be troubling. 

What group should you belong to? Charismatic, Fundamentalist, Adventist, Calvinist, Methodists, Roman Catholic, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of the Holy Spirit, Non-denominational, Baptist (which kind?), Anglican, Missionary Alliance, Episcopalian, or some home group? They all claim to be based on the Bible and yet differ in so many ways. Don’t settle. Be wise, teachable, and always exploring. 

14. Being a Christian is like walking a journey (or dancing down the street) rather than standing at a destination.

You have not arrived yet. Not only are you a Christian, you’re becoming one. Talk to a person who’s been married one year and a person who’s been married 50 years. Who knows more about being married? Learning to be a Christian is a life-long adventure. 

15. Being a Christian is about BEING as well as doing.

Be Christlike. Be loving to God and neighbor. Be like God. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Be at peace with God, people, and yourself. You’ll be told to get active, get involved, get busy, and use your “time, talents, and treasure.” However, strive to bring about both being and doing. Think of your doing as an expression of your being. It’s not “either/or” but “both/and.” 

I hope these truths will help you on your way. Enjoy your travels with God. 

Dr. K