Are You Numb to Jesus?

Are You Numb to Jesus?

I read half a book on Sunday afternoon. I started reading The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper, because, um, I’m a PK and I had it sitting next to my bed just begging to be read. I gave in, needless to say.

It’s not a book on theology or anything like that, but more of a book helping people get a grasp on what being a PK is like and how to respond to that.

I cannot say that I relate to all of it, but something particularly stuck out to me. The concept of being numb to Jesus.

This can happen to anyone who’s been drowned in church, the Bible, and surrounded by Christianity. We can become numb to Jesus. Here’s a snippet of the book that I found spot-on.

“Being around Jesus-related teaching, literature, and events all the time makes Jesus rote in the minds and hearts of PKs. Rote is mundane. When Jesus becomes mundane, He ceases being life-changing and life-giving. In the case of many PKs, He never was either of these; by their estimation, He was just a character in an overtold story. Instead of Savior and Lord, He becomes any number of other things, most of which take on the character of those who represent Him in the church.” – Barnabas Piper, The Pastor’s Kid, page 73.

I remember feeling this way!

Sure, I always loved Jesus. But so many times growing up (not to say that I’m completely grown up now, but anyway), church was boring. I was tired of my Bible, because I just finished reading through it, and now I’m supposed to read it again? Jesus died for sinners. Does that include me? Grandma calls me an angel, even though I did throw a book across the room when I was mad last week…

Can anyone relate? I remember in 7th grade, things really started to click. I was baptized going into 7th grade and attended a winter weekend camp with my youth group.

It was somewhere around that time where I was like, “OH! JESUS IS AWESOME! HOW DID I NOT GET THIS BEFORE?!”

Maybe you’re a Pastor’s Kid, or a Missionary Kid, or you’re just so used to Christianity that you’re numb to Jesus. Jesus is a history figure, not a Savior. Maybe you had no “Damascus Road” conversion, just a prayer with Mom and Dad in preschool, kindergarten, or grade school.

And after being excited that “Jesus lives in my heart!” for a while, maybe even a few years, Jesus stopped being life changing. At least, it seemed that way for me.

I memorized all the verses, could rock Bible Baseball in Sunday School, could explain the book of Romans in detail, but my salvation didn’t seem life-giving. When I became a Christian in preschool, my life didn’t drastically change. Of course, John 3:16 was a good verse. Jesus died to save us from our sins. Great! We can go to heaven when we die.

I was so immersed into the Gospel that grace didn’t seem all that great, because I never felt like I experienced it. My conversion felt like a “press this button for eternal life and forgiveness” and so I pressed it.

I’m sure others feel or have felt like this too. Do you want to know what helped me find Amazing Grace for myself?

I finally understood the weight of sin.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should dwell on our sin too much. But listen up. If we don’t understand that we are sinners in the first place, controlled naturally by a sinful nature, we won’t see our need for a Savior. If a fireman came to your house and told you he was there to save you, but there was no evidence of any danger, would you appreciate him? No way. When I realized that without being under the control of the Holy Spirit that I was doomed to a life consisting of ball-and-chain slavery to sin, I understood why grace was so important.

Salvation isn’t saying some prayer and trying to be good for the rest of our lives. It’s being given a new nature, our sin is forgotten about and erased, and we are clean. It has nothing to do with “being good,” which, a lot of church kids are extremely good at. I was pretty good at it. I was legitimately accused of both having the entire Bible memorized and being a perfect angel. But that was me trying to be good, not letting myself be under the control of the Holy Spirit.

When I realized that I was, in fact, a true sinner, I could accept God’s wonderful grace to pay for my sin. It was only amazing, though, because I knew I didn’t deserve it and could not earn it.

I saw a relationship with God through Jesus as a privilege.

I always got the God/Jesus/Holy Spirit distinction mixed up. I’m not going to bother trying to explain the Trinity, because even I can’t full wrap my head around that. What I will say is this. Sin separates us from God (His holiness and our sinfulness cannot coexist). Jesus is our mediator, the one whom God the Father sent as a mediator between us and God. He willingly died to pay for our sin, and now we can believe in Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for our sin, have a relationship with God, and live by the power of the Holy Spirit (we aren’t controlled by sin now that it is washed away).

By taking my relationship with God for granted instead of seeing it as a miracle, I missed out on the blessing of enjoying my salvation. I became apathetic about being saved instead of rejoicing in it. However, when I realized the drag of sin and lift of salvation, I could see that I am blessed. Grace is amazing, and that’s so easy to forget when we’re so used to it.

Some other things occurred that year too, things that I don’t even remember, but the “AHA!” came when I was done taking Jesus for granted. I quit it with the cynical eye and read the Bible for myself. Because I wanted to, not because I was supposed to.

Friends, we can’t be numb to Jesus. Salvation is much too precious!

If you find yourself becoming bored with your faith, especially as teenagers, step back and examine. Who am I? Am I defined by what I’ve done, or by the cross? Why do I believe what I do? Is it because Mom and Dad said it was true, or because I have faith for myself?

I get it. I’ve experienced so much of it. The doubts. The questions and the answers. And you know what? I know that God is faithful. He’s not one to leave when we have doubts, but to prove Himself true.

Whether you’re a PK, a church kid, or anyone really, don’t let yourself be numb to Jesus. He is more than we deserve.

1 John 5:20

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

*aj

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20 thoughts on “Are You Numb to Jesus?

  1. It’s so easy to become used to the wonderful grace God gives, and to take Jesus for granted, even when that grace has changed our life! Praise God that He helps us to realize how much Jesus loves us – so much that he gave up his life and was killed, though He had done nothing wrong. Praise God that He has power over death! Thanks for the great post, Amanda! 😀

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  2. Bible Baseball!!!!! *cough*
    Lovely post. I’m not a PK, but I’ve been in the church all my life, and my dad was a deacon for quite a while at our old church. It’s taken me a long time to realize that it’s not just the same boring stories, and I’m still struggling not to be deaf to Jesus. Thanks for the post! ❤

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  3. Yes. I’m not a pastor’s kid, but I did grow up in church in a Christian home, so I kind of took Christianity for granted. When I was about nine, I did change drastically (from being a brat to a halfway decent person) and I remember really liking to read my Bible somewhere around that age, so I think that was when it really finally happened. Not that I don’t still have doubts now, but it is hard to really get it deep inside when it’s something you grew up with. Maybe that’s why I’ve discovered I like writing conversion stories. Because then I can remind myself of the weight of sin and how Jesus’s blood really washes it away.

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    • You’re right, when faith shapes your thinking, it’s hard to have doubts that deep unless the faith really isn’t there. I like conversion stories too. I tend to forget the drastic change from death in sin to life in Christ! Thanks for your comment.

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  4. First of all, I didn’t know you were a PK. 😛

    Second of all, YES. This is it exactly. I noticed this a few years ago–oftentimes it’s just as hard if not harder for the kids who grew up “drowning in Bible” to truly have a relationship with Jesus, simply because it’s nothing special to them. Until we can see our need, there’s no reason for Jesus’ existence to be anything more than that great-uncle you hear about, but never see. Or Abraham Lincoln. Or something.

    I think one of the greatest dangers of kids growing up in actual, serious Christian homes today is the tendency to become little Pharisees. And I don’t think people realize this serious danger often enough. I think it’s why so many people do walk away from the church once they leave the home–because it never made “the great leap” from head to heart.

    Unfortunately, it’s not something you can make happen. It takes a moment of realization in the life of the kid, and I think that often happens in accordance with a difficult time. I know it was that way for me, at least, when I was about 13. When finally everything I’d been learning about God clicked and I started learning how to walk in it.

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    • (Yep, I am!)
      Your comment is so insightful, Amanda. I’ve noticed this a lot in my various friend circles – so many of the kids knew about Jesus from the inside out, but whether they actually knew Jesus or not was a totally different story. The Bible seems “boring” to so many because they “know” it so well, which is really sad. You’re spot-on about becoming little Pharisees! Church kids can be the biggest hypocrites, but pull it off so well that nobody notices (and you’d better believe it’s deadly!). It was around the same time for me as well. (You’re so right about the hard times.) I was 12/13 and I just got it. Not to say I wasn’t saved before, but it didn’t become life-transforming until then. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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  5. That’s a great post Amanda. I just found your blog and it’s super lovely.

    I hope you check out my blog and follow by email. creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com
    Also, I would love it if you ordered something from my shop. ashleysyarnworks.blogspot.com I hope you check that out and order something. .:)
    Love,
    Ashley

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  6. Pingback: Month in Review: November 2015 | True and Pure

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