To Know What I Believe In

Mary Kate - Hot Springs, Arkansas
Entered on October 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: Christianity

I have three Bibles. Two sit on the bottom row of my bookshelf. The third sits on my nightstand beneath all the other books I am currently reading. It sits there, gathering dust.

When I sit in Sunday school, I flip through the Bible and find the book I am looking for with only a little difficulty. But when my youth minister asks the class who takes time to read God’s word outside of church, I bow my head, embarrassed, as the others around me proudly raise their hands, whether they do read it or not.

It’s not that I don’t have the time. I do. I always seem to want to waste my time accomplishing completely pointless activities instead of immersing myself in the Gospel. To me, everything seems way more interesting than reading a book that I can hardly understand.

About a year ago one of my friends, who is an atheist, asked me if I was a Christian. I, of course, said yes. She then asked me, as a Christian, what I believed. I spewed out the good old Sunday school answer: “I believe in God and that Jesus is the Messiah.” She pressed on. “How do you know that there is a God? What has God ever done for you? Why do you celebrate Christmas by giving presents?” I stood before her, dumbfounded, unable to answer a single one of her questions. Then she said something that haunts me still: “How can you say you are a Christian when you can’t answer questions about you own faith?”

It’s incredible that more than half of all Christians today cannot tell someone what Christianity truly stands for. I was one of those people until about two months ago. I realized that not only do I really need to know my religion inside and out, but I wanted to. I found out that the Bible isn’t just full of rules that a good Christian has to follow to gain salvation. There are comical stories of talking donkeys and heart-wrenching stories of people finding out the truth about life. And here’s the kicker: they’re all true.

What I found out just by reading the Bible cover to cover blew my mind. Now, if a friend asks me what I believe, I can tell them a condensed version of what I learned. It’s hard to remember why I never took the time to understand my religion.

I believe that knowing what you stand for is vital to living out your belief. I know that by being a Christian, I must follow the Commandments that God himself wrote for his followers to live by. I also know that many people are just like me and are just now realizing what it means to be a Christian.

I have three Bibles. Now none of them are gathering dust.