Help! I’m a Christian that Doesn’t Love God!
“God, I really don’t love you”. I remember saying these words out loud to God the summer before 11th grade. At that point I had had enough fake sincerity I harbored in my heart. What good was withholding the truth from a God who already knew it? “The only reason I claimed I loved you in the first place was because I didn’t want to go to hell”
I came to the conclusion I was only so “religious” because my parents dragged me to church. If my parents didn’t make me go to church, I would have made the choice not to go. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up in a great church. The youth group at my church was phenomenal. The worship was on point and the preaching was powerful. I remember thinking “whatever everybody else is feeling, I’m missing it”. Occasionally I would feel as though God had spoke to me and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. But as far as my entire life went, I knew that I didn’t love God.
So I challenged Him. Yes, the God of the entire universe, the one who spoke it into existence with a word. I told God on that June summer day, “I don’t really love you. I’m going to need for you to show up in my life this summer, or I am going to walk away”.
I was as serious as I was scared. What would that look like? My dad was a pastor for goodness sakes! Who would I even be? I didn’t curse, smoke, or have premarital sex. And I only did those things because somebody said the bible said not to…(I hadn’t actually seen those things for myself). So I made up in my mind to find God that summer as if He was lost.
Thankfully, God was patient with me. I had enough common sense to know that if I wanted to find God, I needed to go looking for Him. So I spent a great part of my day just reading the accounts of Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, to be exact. It was during that time that I began to see Jesus as an actual human being and not the mystical miracle worker and wise man that Sunday School teachers always made him out to be. The Creator who lived among men. And that was amazing.
That was when I realized that accounts of Jesus were one big story opposed to sectioned off “sub ideas” underneath the carefully dictated headings in the Bible. Each story flowed into the next. The context of one story should also be brought to the next story, and my life changed. There was God, connecting to not only the spiritual side of me, but also to the intellectual and creative part of me. His word was actually entertaining and not boring! Who knew?
I don’t love God, what do I do?
Maybe you’ve realized what you say you believe and what you do just doesn’t line up. Maybe you’ve only been a “cultural Christian” out of convenience – because you grew up in a Christian household, or went to a Christian school, whatever the reason, you only obeyed God (or didn’t) because you felt obligated to or you were scared you were going to get a whoopin’ or worse, because you thought you were going to go to hell. Here me clearly, you are not the only one who feels this way.
If this is you, that’s quite alright. The step of honesty is always the hardest. You should realize a couple of things:
1. Just because you don’t love right now doesn’t mean you never will.
It’s okay to be honest with yourself and your walk. Make steps towards getting there. Be okay with where you are in your journey. Just as long as you are not going backward, God sees you and is grateful for your honesty. The same way a doctor can’t treat what has not been diagnosed, you can not find real love for God if you don’t admit that you don’t really love him.
2. Chase God the way yo momma chases you when she’s tryna whoop you.
Stop at nothing to find God! You know how your mom calls you while you’re in your room? She steady screaming your name but she’s not making an effort to come to your room? Don’t be like your mom. Be like God – he didn’t stay in heaven while he was calling you. He came after you relentlessly. Go after God with the same fervor. He’s waiting and He’s still chasing you. What does that really look like? Going to church? Reading your Bible? Spending countless hours praying? Yes and no. Do all of those things (although spending countless hours praying may be hard for the new believer. I don’t even do that and I been saved. But I do commit a time to pray honestly!!!). All those things will help, but it takes you moving the barriers of disbelief for you to accept God.
3. Give God a chance to flex on you.
The Bible says “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 38:4). Open up your mind to the possibility of God working and then let Him work on your heart. But you have to do your part. You have to be in a position for God to meet you. That might mean turning off the television or twitter, or saying no to going out so that you might have a chance to read the Word of God.
At the end of the day, I just want you to be honest about where you are with God. I am not saying it is okay to stay where you are with God. I am asking you to breakdown the walls of cultural Christianity in order to find a deep and true love of God.
Ever since I got honest with God, we ain’t never been the same. Just know that me and God- we tighter than a hug from a church mother after coming home from college.
-Neeko J Williams, broken and blessed child of God
@NeekoJWilliams on twitter