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Become a Stronger Christian

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 4

I read a great book once by Hannah Whitehall Smith called "The secret to being a Happy Christian." I was in my shed today looking for my 1611 King James version Bible. I couldn't find my bible, but I saw the Smith book which made me sad. My Christianity was so strong when I read it. I really believed when I prayed that someone, a God, a higher power was listening, the universe effected my efforts and meditations. So you want to be a stronger Christian? What are some of the things you could do?
1) Jesus himself suggested people get to know scripture. Since the New Testament had not been written nor compiled at the time he made that statement, we can assume the scripture he was referring to was the old Testament. Or was he? Some of the fundamentalists I have met believe that since Jesus knew everything, as Jesus was God, he knew the New Testament would be written. They believe he was prophetically requesting we read the New Testament. I don't agree with that suggestion my self. But you should pray on, or ask your pastor if you are not sure. It's certainly not something to mess with as Jesus himself requested it.
2) You could in addition to scripture reading meditate on it. It is a fine thing to understand what you are reading. Discernment, after all, is a gift of the Spirit. As all gifts of the Spirit are good things, you should treat discernment with the proper respect it deserves and use it! Don't wait for God to tell you what your favorite color is, take responsibility for being made in his image. Think on things, consider them, make conscious decisions.
3) Charity. Giving, especially giving with a cheerful heart is a very fast way to become a stronger Christian. Don't wait until you have money or inclination. Give your time, give your spirit, give what ever you have to give, even if it means only volunteering at your church. Anyone can take a turn at the snack table, or hand out programs. Talented people can sing in the choir, loving people can watch kids in the nursery, clerical people can help with typing. Challenge yourself to give out side of your sect. Could you tutor an immigrant of another race? Could you watch a neighbor's dog? Could you bring yourself to be kind to the cashier at the bookstore. If you have it with in your power to make someone else feel good about themselves or feel like crap about themselves, which would be the Christian thing to do? To stay silent? I think not. Real charity is divine, it is giving with out expecting a return with out looking for recognition. It's giving in calm detachment.
4) Prayer. I used to pray for about four hours a day. I bet you think I was a housewife. Who could pray for four hours a day? You know what? Any one can. I prayed while I was driving, I prayed while I was working. I prayed while I was cooking. I am convinced I was the only prayer some people ever saw. During the year my husband was covert with his drug use nothing in my life made sense. Every time I questioned him for clarification he would tell me the "Holy Spirit" was guiding him. It was a mentally grueling, heartbreaking, cruelly disappointing time in my life, as my drug addict husband and his secret agenda destroyed our life savings. No one answered me, and still I prayed. No one comforted me and still I prayed. No one believed me, and still I prayed. No one supported me and still I prayed.
5) Reading. Once upon a time I felt all books either re-iterated the bible and were therefore redundant, and disagreed with the bible and were therefore wrong. I read a lot of translations of the bible. I can't read Hebrew or Greek, so I did my best to understand what was written by looking over the widest variety available. I highly recommend this practice if you want to become a stronger Christian. Don't stay stuck in some weeny watered down paraphrase of the Bible. Don't lose yourself in some editor's footnotes. Do your own research. God's word means so much more when you understand what you are reading. Trust me, it's not hard, it's fascinating.
6) The very best way I know to become a stronger Christian is to have a devastating cataclysmic event in your life. For me it was discovering my nearest and dearest, my soul's mate, my husband who took communion with me, a minister, a board member at our church, walking out on me to continue his life as a drug addict. It was having the church believe him and not me. Watching them support his habit by innocently taking his drug dealer to visit him while he was in rehab, helping him leave the facility (as they believed he was cured) bringing him clothes and DVD's he promptly sold for drugs. Gosh, it was losing my husband, my church family, my health, my job, my home, my faithful dog, in that order.

I'm sorry if that's more than you really want to do. Try one through five and see if that doesn't cover it for you. I wouldn't wish my life on anyone. If it's happened to you already, though, you know what I am saying is absolutely the truth.



Feb 16, 2010 6:50pm
I like this!
Nov 9, 2011 12:52am
Good article. It's hard to use the term "stronger Christian". When I think about this I tend to think that I have to be religious about my relationship to God. The truth is your relationship gets stronger when you talk to him and learn to trust him in all things. I had my fair share of heartache, but I have come to realize that sometimes, those catachlismic events, he allows us to go through so that we realize we can't do it without Him. I often ask mysel, "if I had only trusted God, would that have really happened to me?"
Nov 28, 2011 9:26am
I have to agree. Another thing that is important in my walk with Christ has been fasting. We live in a time of overabundance, and frankly I think the reasons why the 'economy' seems so bad is because people do not know what they have, and take it for granted. We live an Abundant Life everyday. Fasting will definitely open up your spiritual eyes to see what you really do have, as opposed to believing we're slaves to a job, or a lifestyle. Our God is an awesome God!
Mar 8, 2012 4:20pm
Good article. Different things will work better for different people, but all are good for anyone. I also find that I will get closer to God in a different way when things are going well from when they are not.
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