As always, everyone on this page has agreed to accept e-mail from anyone who wishes to write to them for advice or encouragement.
Since you first came to Christ, what has been the hardest adjustment or change you've had to make in your life, and how have you dealt with it?
Katie: The HARDEST adjustment that I have had to make is learning how to control my Anger/Temper! The ONLY way to control your Anger/Temper is to stay in the Word constantly. The Word says in 2Timothy 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of TRUTH." Also, we are NOT to be hearers of the Word ONLY, for if we are we deceive ourselves [James 1:22]. I have found that with MUCH prayer and supplication to God that my Anger/Temper has NO choice but to FLEE!
Sometime's we can be like Peter when he was out on the boat seeing Jesus walking on the water. We step out in faith, and for a while we are walking along fine, as Long as we KEEP OUR EYE'S ON JESUS! But the SECOND we take our eyes OFF the Lord Jesus and start looking at the problems around us, we begin to sink, and we CRY OUT TO JESUS saying, "Lord! Help me before I drown!!!" When ALL along He gave US the power to NOT SINK IN THE FIRST PLACE. I hope this help's you as much as it has me. God bless you, my friends.
Katie (35 years old)
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Dave: My adjustment came a little later in my walk with Christ. I first accepted Jesus when I was about 9 years old. At first, I was on fire for the Lord, telling anyone I could about Jesus. As I grew older, though, things like sports and socializing began to move toward the center of my life, until, by the time I went to college, I had become what you would call a "party animal." Having a good time was all I cared about. This continued until I moved to Las Vegas. There, the Spirit began to convict me of the way I had been living my life. A friend invited me to church, and I began the journey back into Jesus' fold. The hardest thing for me to adjust to was the fact that Jesus still loved me and cared about me. I couldn't understand that. I thought that either I had never been saved at all, or that I had put my salvation in serious jeopardy. Then one day my brother called me in the middle of the day. If you knew my brother, you'd know that he NEVER leaves work just to make a phone call. He told me that he felt like he HAD to come home and call me. He said he felt like the Lord wanted to tell me, "You have been Mine since you were a child, and you will always be Mine. Nothing can take you away from Me." Of course, that made me feel MUCH better. A section that helped me during that time is John 10:27-29, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand."
Dave (33 years old)
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Penny: When I first came to Christ, the hardest thing was letting go of being "in charge of my life." (I still struggle from time to time.) The Lord started this for me by having my kicked out of my parents' house soon after I became a believer. At first, I was scared, but I turned to Him in prayer and started the attitude of, "Lord, it's Your problem. You're in charge." I have to say MUCH prayer, fellowshipping, and constant Bible study all had a big role in this. Needless to say, He did take care of the problem by giving me more hours at work, and providing a house to share with five other women. It was a great experience and I'm happy He had me go through it, because I have grown from it. Some verses that helped me are Matthew 6:25-26, "Therefore I say unto you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; not about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
Penny (27 years old)
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Dana: The most difficult thing I had to deal with when I became a Christian, was in my relationship with my family. It wasn't so bad with my husband, but my parents and brothers were a little weirded out by the change. I knew things were different in me, but I didn't know quite what. I didn't realize that my profession of Christ as my Saviour had made me a new creature. I would try to express myself to them and blow it every time. It was frustrating, but I realize now that it was necessary in order for me come to understand and know what I believed. As I talked about it, it became clearer to me (not to them) what had happened to me. It built my faith, you might say. The Bible says, "If you confess me before men, Then I will confess you before My Heavenly Father," and I think that's what was happening.
Since then, I've grown some and gotten some scripture learning under my belt, and I'm able to communicate the things of God in my life to others much more easily. My parents still love me and respect me, although they still haven't dedicated their lives to Christ. I share the things I feel led to, and avoid the rest. We must share Christ with others. When we feel inadequate, and we always will, we must ask the Holy Spirit for words to speak and wisdom from above. God is in the process of conforming us to His image, and we're going to fail along the way. But that shouldn't stop us from ministering to the lost. If we are faithful to Him, He will take care of the rest.
Dana (37 years old)
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Shane: By far the most difficult adjustment I have had to make is complete surrender. I tend to be a very independent person. I have always been the "lone wolf" of the family. I have always taken pride in my ability to do things on my own, and "take care of myself." That is the problem though - pride. I know the Lord wants me to seek greater dependence upon him. So he placed obsticals in my life to remind me who is really in charge and who takes care of whom. It has always been difficult for me to come to terms with this, but in the last six years, since I started following him, he has been working with me. I think he has come a long way with me, but I know we have so much farther to go. Funny thing though, it seems that the more I surrender to his will, the more liberated I feel.
Shane (26 years old)
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Betty: This is a very difficult question. My life has had wonderful changes; not really negative at all. The only thing that comes to my mind is how OTHERS reacted to my Salvation. People didn't know what to say or how to act around me. They really inspected me hard. My best friend from high school said she no longer felt she was GOOD ENOUGH to be my friend! I was shocked! I told her it was still me, only not out of control anymore. She was certainly GOOD ENOUGH to be my friend, and I wanted her to feel the joy I had recieved too! We talked about GOD, and Salvation, and we are THE VERY BEST OF FRIENDS STILL. She has not asked Christ into her heart yet, that I know of, but she leans on me in the tough times, and trusts me for the truth always. There were others as well, who were standing back a little and wondering, yet time has taken care of their doubts. They have seen this was not a temporary thing; that it CHANGED ME. I hope they see it as THE GLORY OF GOD. I guess the most difficult changes have been for those who know me, not me. Maybe it made them look CLOSELY at themselves and wonder if they, too, could be so changed; if they, too, needed to be so changed. Maybe they just accepted it, and were glad I was changed. For me it has all been a wonder, and a joy. Like discovering the greatest secret in the world!!! And truly it is the greatest secret in the world!
Betty (35 years old)
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Kathy: Being raised a Jehovah's Witness, the hardest thing was to become acclimated to going to church. I had so much false doctrine implanted in me, so many fears (like the world was going to end in 1975...surprise!:-) and the like. I was suspicious of people, thinking that they weren't really of God, and it took a while to balance. The more research I did concerning the things I had previously believed, the easier it became...plus, the Lord had me in a very loving church.
Kathy (36 years old)
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Rick: I guess one of the hardest things I've had to deal with is how people treat you and, as a Christian, how you respond to injustice done to you or your own family! Anyone who knew me before wouldn't have tried to give me even so much as a dirty look, much less cross me in serious form. The first fight I walked away from was in California on a job site. I started to hit this guy, then I just walked away. I was so excited I had to call my wife! It was a very important step from being #1 bouncer, to walking away from an easy fight, especially one I wouldn't even get blamed for! The next run-in wasn't so easy. It happened the next week (Satan doesn't lose any time). The next guy was a gang biker, and I'd never met one that I didn't rearrange their colors. Now don't get me wrong, I love bikes. It's just gang bikers I have a problem with!! Well, I walked away this time too, and he had a very big mouth as I walked away, smoking two smokes and saying, "You're Christian now, and they don't hit people, not even subhuman ones!!!!!!!!" Well, after that I thought I could handle anything! Then one of my customers stole in-excess of 100,000 dollars from our company! We got a judgement, so now he hides behind a corporate veil. Now we have had it very rough financially for the last five years, and I know for a fact that I could make an afterhours call on this gentleman, and he would hand deliver his payment with a bow and say, "I'm sorry to trouble you, but please take my money sir!" Well, I really struggle here, as my wife and children suffer. But I will endeavor to be strong, and pray for those who wrong me and mine. Yes, even this man. I will write more later on other subjects.
Rick (45 years old)
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Michael: Probably the biggest adjustment I had to make when I first got saved was the amount on input I got. Sound weird? What I meant was that as soon as I received the Holy Spirit's baptism, I was on FIRE!! I mean, at junior college I would sit on the bench reading the Bible in hopes that someone would stop and ask me what I was doing. And I was learning about Jesus and God pretty quickly. But the other input I got was from Satan. He tempted me; made me doubt; and I didn't understand because spiritually I wasn't grown up enough to understand. Unfortunately, Satan can mess with your emotions. So you have to rely on God for the truth. My first year as a Christian was hard because I didn't know what was what. And I did doubt. And at one point almost quit. And I did have to face what was in my past, which is painful. I remember driving to school and it hit. I cried and turned the car around to go back to my mom's house. I told her what the problem was. So we went to see my pastor, and we talked for awhile. Every now and then Satan tries to bring my past up to upset me, but I say to him, "You can't fool me. Jesus said that His blood would cover ALL sin, so begone!" And he did, of course. But like I was saying, my first year was hard. I had to face a lot of tough decisions, and a lot of doubt, but Jesus triumphed. In my second year, I learned that you have to have that time out of the day to be alone with God; a quiet time. And through that and going to church and fellowship, He has helped me grow, and taught me things. These are the key ingredients to growing in Christ.
Michael (20 years old)
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Rafael: I would say that those of use who have been raised in the gospel sometimes tend to see the Christian life as monotonous and routine. We don't value what we have, you know? At least I didn't. But then some years after the death of my mother, I found myself alone in the middle of a crowd, having all I could want, but feeling useless and hating myself. Then, when everything around me went wrong, I would look to the joy of some of my brothers and sisters. I wanted their happiness, so I surrendered to Jesus. For those of us who know the values and principles of the Bible, the most important thing is to realize is that being good will not save us or give us the Lord's joy.
We have to learn and remember everyday that we were sinners (like the worst, if we know God, and reject Him), and we have to thank Him that we aren't sinners anymore. ("We are saints that sin" Neil T. Anderson) We are the children of God, and we are made Saints. Not because we deserve it, but because of Jesus' love, who chose to die and wipe away our unworthiness. We who have known Jesus for a long time have to remember to always watch out, and never fall asleep in this long run where the final line is Heaven. We need to look out for those little things that appear small, but cause great problems. Things like missing a church service, forgetting to read the Bible, pray and fast in the privacy of our room, being alone with God, etc. . . These kind of things are easy to overlook, because our flesh doesn't feel attracted to it, but we've got to give control to the Spirit, and free Him to look for the things of God. We NEED to walk in the Spirit to avoid sin, and remain always near God; with Him on our minds at each and every moment.
Rafael (18 years old)
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Leslie: The biggest challenge for me was (and still is at times) learning to truly cast my cares upon the Lord. 1Peter 5:6-7 says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" I tend to say "here it is Lord," then sometimes I take it back from Him. Learning to "let go and let God" is my biggest challenge as a Christian, but I am learning. This poem always helps me:
As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to
I brought my dreams to God, because He was my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,"How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He said,"What could I do? You never did let go."
Leslie (35 years old)
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