It’s true. I admit it. I almost got kicked out of Bible school my senior year. Before I get to that story, allow me to give you a little life-background. In high school I was called a “church girl.” I was bold about my faith in Jesus Christ, encouraged my girlfriends to save sex for marriage, didn’t party, and my idea of fun was a “Holy Spirit Get-Down.” I was considered a good Christian girl.
I put an immense amount of pressure on my teenage soul to be a “shining light” for Jesus and at least appear to be following the major “good-Christian-girl” rules. I never chose to hang out with church kids much. They mostly annoyed me and I didn’t think they were all that cool. I always preferred hanging with the “secular world (as evangelicals like to put it)” more than the church world.
But, I was supposed to hang with Christians, right? So I fixed that problem by bringing my “secular world” girlfriends to church with me. Jesus changed their hearts and together we intertwined our lives with the kids who did not know Jesus. They were our friends. They were our neighbors. They were our people. We saw no need to drop them all simply because they didn’t yet know Christ as their Savior.
All that to say that I stood out as a good little evangelical girl with a good little evangelical family doing good little evangelical things for God among friends who were coming from broken families, being taught by secular parents, and figuring out this Jesus thing one baby step at a time. They were more inspiring to me than all the church girls that didn’t accept me because I didn’t grow up in their church clique.
I went to a public high school and grew up with many of my best friends. I am grateful that I went to public school as my heart became for all people and I saw no need to be part of a church that was simply a social club. Yet no amount of public school prepared me for a private Christian college with more rules than I ever could have imagined.
I was use to running free in high school. My parents trusted me because I had a good head on my shoulders. But when I got to college, I quickly realized that there were many kids who knew how to play the good Christian kid much better than me. I found them very annoying and began to rebel against the system. I loved Jesus, but many kids judged me as a “bad girl” simply because I was cute, dressed nice, and thought RA’s were narcs!
Alcohol was strictly prohibited at the college that I attended, even off campus. When I turned 21, some of my girlfriends and I thought we would “be bad” and go out for a drink. The four of us split one cocktail and we giggled about how “rebellious” we were being.
Someone among the group felt it was her spiritual duty to rat us out (give me a break) and the next day we were each called to the dean’s office. Oh what a predicament I was in. If I tell the truth, I would get kicked out of school my senior year of college for sharing one drink with four girls at the age of 21. I am a truth person to the core of my being, but I had watched great Christian girls get kicked out of Bible school for similar behaviors.
I was honest with my parents about what was happening and they advised me to keep the truth to myself. They had just spent thousands of dollars putting me through college and were not about to see their daughter get kicked out of school for such a small crime. I regretted not obeying the rule because I was now in a place where I had to lie. Oh how I wrestled within my soul.
I was faced with two commandments: Honor they father and mother OR lie? I chose to honor my parents and their investment and thank God I did because the girls who admitted the truth got kicked out of school. I know lying is wrong, but the heavy spirit of legalism I was under was even worse. I strive to never put myself under the authority of legalism again, as it was crippling to my soul and even served as a stumbling block for me to sin.
This is one of those stories where I am oh so thankful for the grace of Jesus Christ and that by His sacrifice I am forgiven for my sins! I will strive not to lie for the rest of my life, but I am certain I will lie again and anyone who says they won’t ever lie again is a liar. The love of Jesus surpasses all of our mistakes and sets us free to be in a genuine relationship with Him. He does not see our sin any longer if we are in Him and He is in us. He doesn’t just love us, he likes us despite our human flaws.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18
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