Saturday, September 15, 2012

Testimony - Dougie Spence

When I was younger I had a very legalistic view of Christianity. I’m not sure if it was the church I was raised in or my own standard I held myself to. Either way it felt completely unhealthy.
When I was a young teenager I was very involved with the drama team of a large church in a small town. So needless to say many people knew who I was. Not only was I in front of church fairly regularly I also helped teach the younger kids whenever the opportunity became available. I soon realized that if I was going to be one the faces of our church I needed to make sure I was a “good Christian”.
Once I realized that people knew who I was and knew which church I was a part of, I knew that I could no longer show weakness in my faith. Pastors and leaders would tell stories about times before they were Christians, but now that they knew God they were completely different. None of them shared about struggles they were having now, so in my head I had decided that to be like them I had to be perfect.
Perfect meant that I had no struggles, no lapse of faith. I had to show that I was a “good Christian”. Eventually this mentality jacked me up. Whenever I would sin I would actually feel sick to my stomach. But no matter what I could not talk to anybody about my struggles, after all they might look at me differently if they knew I actually had struggles. So I kept everything bottled up inside me, the struggles, the questioning of God, the complete confusion about what God wanted me to do with my life.
Then one day I walked into North Point (at that time it was called Calvary Baptist), Pastor Paul spoke from the heart. He had no problems informing us about the fact that he had struggles in his life. He had questions for God, he had confusion, but ultimately he wanted to do what God wanted him to do. He admitted he wasn’t perfect, but he loved the one who is perfect and was trying to live his life the way Christ called us to do.
As I got more involved with North Point I realized that God doesn’t call us because we are perfect, he calls us because we are jacked up people who need Him. Yes we are called to live like Christ, but when we are having issues we need to talk with our mentor and life group. Only through accountability will we actually be able to live the way we are called to.
Once I realized this it felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. No longer did I have to take the burdens on myself, what I have to do is trust God and allow Him to take care of my burdens. He has the strength to handle my problems, and only through Him will I ever live a life that pleases Him.

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