Written By Edwin B. Yambot, Philippines
Growing up in a poverty-stricken and hostile environment, I was ashamed of my life. And though my grandmother was a devout Methodist, my negative perception about the world impeded my growth in the Christian faith and contributed to my cynicism about God.
After graduating with a degree in Social Sciences, I went into teaching. My ego grew, and so did my skepticism. I remember asking my students: “Where is this unseen God?” and “If there is a God, why does evil exists?” I boldly declared that God is dead and that morality is humanly conceived. It is based on our understanding of good and bad and is relative to cultures. In my spiritual blindness, I was unable to see that good deeds spring from the hearts of true Christians who follow God, just as Ephesians 5:1-2 states, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
After a decade of speaking against Christ, I found myself without drive or purpose and asking questions like, “Why am I here?” and “What am I living for?” All along, I thought I was intelligent enough to rely on my own. While my sister would tell me to consult God about my decisions, my usual reply to her was, “God has many problems. I don’t have to make Him carry mine too.”
But when I didn’t acknowledge God, I suffered failure after failure. I lost a job, got into frequent rifts with friends and experienced humiliation. The egotistic I had fallen. I wondered whether this was a display of God’s wrath in my life but decided to cling to Christ’s message that He came to save the world and not to condemn it. I finally turned to the One I had been mocking, the One I had despised the most.
God is love. If we ask Him for forgiveness, He will generously blot out all our iniquities and transgressions. God is glad when He sees us coming back to Him as we read in Luke 15:23-24, “Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
This forgiveness is made possible because of His Son, Jesus Christ. Though He was the incarnate God (and therefore susceptible to worldly temptations), He led a sinless life. Although He suffered and died in humiliation, He did not question the wisdom of the Father as to why He had to experience pain, suffering, and humiliation to save us from our sins.
His death on the cross paid the penalty of our sins so we no longer need to face God’s judgment, but receive His forgiveness instead.
As I look back on my life, I’ve realized it was very foolish of me to mock God. I should have heeded Apostle James’ advice, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).
Photo Contributed by Ian Tan