Dear friends from high school,
A lot has changed since high school. It has been almost 4 years! Can you believe it? I wanted to write a letter to you all and apologize. I openly proclaimed to be a Christian, yet my life said differently. I called myself a Christian because I went to church every Sunday and tried to be a good person – later I realized these two things did not make me a Christian. I gave Jesus a bad reputation because I was not living out Christ’s love. Instead of living for Jesus, I was living for myself. I made decisions based on what would benefit me, please me, and promote me. Everything was about me.
I had everything wrong, and as a result was a horrible example of Jesus’ love and life change because I had yet to experience it. Here are some examples of how my life did not reflect Jesus:
- My high school boyfriend told me I was a “bad Christian” because my thoughts on boundaries constantly changed. (Read the story.)
- During our relationship, I would push physical boundaries and try and get as far as I could without having sex. I had no idea that even making out can lead to further thoughts, actions, and sin when outside of marriage.
- I had no idea why I shouldn’t date a non-believer, so I dated them.
- I didn’t care what the Bible said – I did what I wanted because I was king. I was in control. The Bible as authority had no effect on my life.
- To gain approval, I was a different person around different groups of friends.
Jesus needed to break me in order for me to realize that I was not living a fully surrendered life. As painful as my freshman year of college was (Read the story), I can look back and be thankful because that was a turning point in my life. I decided to stop living for myself and live for Jesus.
I had experienced Jesus, but not fully. I did not understand important aspects of him: the freedom he brings, the life change, the love that constantly pursues, the feeling of worth, and the countless other blessings he pours on us. Since I did not truly understand Jesus or have a personal relationship with him, I sought approval and satisfaction else where. I changed who I was to gain approval.
Friends, Jesus has changed my life. Do you remember the Joy that needed the love from a guy? The Joy that obsessed over a certain boy? The one who took me years to get over? Do you remember that Joy? I remember her. She was never satisfied with life. She thought this boy would complete her. She thought this boy would give her worth, beauty, love, and completion. She did not know that only Jesus would give her all that she needed.
I called myself a Christian, yet I never spent time with God reading his word. In college, I learned it is impossible to experience life change or be able to love others when I’m not getting filled with God’s word.
I’m sorry for being a bad friend. I’m sorry for giving bad advice. I’m sorry for pressuring you into doing things you might not have wanted to do. I’m sorry I invited you to church, but never shared the gospel with you. I’m sorry I cared more about myself and what others thought about me than you and your salvation.
Jesus has healed my wounds. The wounds from desiring to be loved, from being emotionally abused, from never feeling good enough, and from so much more. Jesus loves me. This love is like no other love. And he feels the same towards you. Jesus loves you.
Thankfully, your salvation is not based on what I did or didn’t do, it is based on what God has done. God can redeem these situations and he can change your life. I’m so thankful for each one of you, if we are still friends or not, because you all impacted my life in some way. I pray that Jesus would come into your life and change your heart the way he changed mine.
For other posts in the Dear Friend Series, click here.