So this past Sunday I got baptized. That’s me in the middle with my bald-headed self coming up from the dunk.
This was a watershed event in my life because it was a public profession of my faith – our baptisms are held at the ocean front in Virginia Beach!
In reflection, here are the three things I’ve realized from my baptism-
I’ve been accountable to my Lord since I was born again. On the other hand, this outward profession of my faith seemed a little out of my comfort zone. Probably because I realized that now my actions, words, and thoughts may be judged by my peers – everyone who surrounds me. You know, the Christian who talks the talk but has a harder time walking it?
What I think, do, and say has the possibility of being put under a microscope and analyzed to see whether or not I’m walking my talk. And that is good. I like this idea of being held accountable by my peers because it will help me be a better person.
It will take me to the next level of humility. It will teach my when I don’t act in accordance with a God whom I now believe loves all…no matter their story, hurts, failures, and brokenness. This is the Lord I’ve come to know in the past several years. And I want to be held accountable against His bar of
These can be difficult ideals to live up to at times, but with the help and support of ALL my friends, the process will be a worthwhile journey.
2. Self analysis
This is the perfect time for me to take a personal inventory. How have I done to this point? What changes do I need to make moving forward? What are my goals in life? Are they in alignment with His will? How have I treated others? Have I held people up, or brought them down? Have I spoken life enhancing words to someone, or have my words been toxic to their ears?
Answering these questions will lead to an honest assessment of my life to this point. The answers will help me understand my performance. The answers may not be things I want to hear, but they will help me to empathize and understand the impact I’ve had on people’s lives – whether helpful and positive, or hurtful and negative.
3. Desire to grow
I was born with an innate desire for self-improvement. Maybe it’s because I was also born with a harsh superego that thrashes me each day. Either way, this event marks a new stage in my life.
Baptism doesn’t make you a new person, it’s just an outward act for an inward decision.
Baptism doesn’t make you a kinder or happier person.
It doesn’t make you personable with everyone you meet.
It doesn’t give you the patience to weather the DMV lines, or go the extra mile for someone that’s wronged you. That’s what the Lord does in your life.
Me, I have a long ways to go. I am selfish. I say hurtful things. I say things out of anger or defensiveness. I act carelessly.
Not all the time.
But I have my fair share friend, believe you me. It is the Lord’s mercy, grace, and compassion that has turned me into any of the good things I am today. They are for His glory and due to His will.
He has blessed me with things like patience (through many, many, MANY trials), and my own life after I hanged myself last September.
He has also blessed me with the things He has taken away – toxic relationships, a failed marriage, a decreased streak of anger and resentment.
This event was a milestone in my growth as a man, as much as it was an event in my growth within my faith.