Before I became a Christian
Before I became a Christian, life was about me, me, me. Football, women and exams; Newcastle United schoolboy trials; pretty girlfriends; $36 000 Cambridge Scholarship; And hopefully family and friends were fine. I was outwardly quite successful but inwardly I was always missing something.
My impression then of Jesus Christ was that he was a nice man, who did good things, and was born at Christmas and therefore let us all have great parties and holidays.
Why I became a Christian
In my second year at Cambridge, I began a relationship with a girl. During the relationship, I always thought I was morally superior to her and I thought I was fine - clean/perfect. I had had fewer relationships than her and so I thought I was better than her. I made this very clear to her. When she ended the relationship, I was completely lost. How could anyone end a relationship with me?
Well, I realise now that I am far from perfect and the way I sometimes act, like then, is shameful. It was quite a shock to begin to realise that I was far from perfect. I felt a lot of despair because I had based my life on her - a mere mortal - and it was now over. I was a little depressed. I was lonely and striving for something.
The internet became my friend and I wasted my time on impure material. Much of society does not help. Take the Sun Newspaper: on one page they have a page 3 girl and on the next they have a story about a sex pervert - but I made these decisions and was wallowing in a vicious cycle of sin. Yet during this difficult time, the people that came to help me were Christians. A girl, called Jenny, who was my lab partner, invited me to Barnies (local church). The other person that looked out for me was Ian, who was an excellent witness.
I started to write prayers to a God I didn’t really know, pleading for cleansing and help to be a better cleaner person. What I now realise is that God had already helped me during this difficult time and also throughout my life. At critical points in my life, He worked through and provided Christian people to encourage me and show me a different way to live: Jenny, my lab partner; Ian, my housemate; Kyle, Jonny, Rob and Leon - footballers that stood out as being different; my Boys Brigade captain who was like a Dad to me when my parents split up and then even my now girlfriend, Kimberly (an Eden student), who I met two years ago in the queue to Cindies (a nightclub). That was the only time that year I went to a club, and it was all part of God’s plan to bring the gospel to me.
It was the example set by God working through these witnesses that led me to read the gospels and begin to realise who Jesus Christ really is. Not the man who just appears at Christmas in a manger, but the only God and saviour for eternity. With my sin, I deserved to face death. Jesus did not deserve to die because He was perfect, yet He died for my sin. And then overcame death for me.
How life is different for me after becoming a Christian
So knowing this, my aim now is to love and follow my God, my saviour and Lord and to love my neighbour as He requests in the Bible. As a Christian, I still sin, but I am more aware of this and not wallowing in this sin. Christ has shown me a new way to live. Amen