Just for the record, I believe that is the first time I have ever typed those words. In nearly two thousand posts, I’ve never mentioned “baby Christians” because that isn’t even a part of my mind-set.
So nope, not coming me at all, but I hear the wounding there, the hurt behind those words that are sometimes unfairly hurled at me on the intertoobz, so I will try to explain what I actually do believe.
Following Jesus Christ is not like Alcoholics Anonymous where one might get a sobriety chip, five years sober or something. There isn’t this hierarchy were one achieves spiritual status, or perhaps there is in some places, but that’s not the God I know. The God I know just whacks people over the head on the way to Damascus when He wants to use them.
Many people celebrate their baptism, or the day they were born again, like one celebrates an anniversary. That’s wonderful, nothing wrong with that. I think it’s charming. But myself, I much prefer the concept of having been born yesterday, or “born again just this morning,” as I sometimes say.
When asked, “how long how you been a Christian?” I often evade the answer with something like, “it’s complicated.” That’s not deception or an attempt to mislead anyone at all, that is simply an authentic response to the progressive nature of faith and the powerful surprises God has dropped on me. Yesterday I thought I knew Jesus Christ, I thought I knew myself, but I knew nothing. So I think of having been born again just this morning. It’s humbling to think of yourself as a child, as someone born yesterday, don’t you think?
It’s way better than just having fallen off the turnip truck, but I digress…
A few times I’ve explained I encountered Christ when I was three years old, not only a baby Christian, but an actual baby, with a tiny, baby faith. I was finally baptized when I was 13, which gave birth to yet another kind of baby faith. Faith is like a river, it is this abundant spring that never stops flowing. It’s a race we spend our lifetimes running. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, God sends you out to minister to your worst enemies, like Jonah discovered. Or Peter who denied Christ three times. Or Moses who murdered someone.
Life can throw you curveballs sometimes.
I really appreciate the Apostle Paul and the thorn in his flesh. We don’t even know what it was, but Paul was an Apostle, a powerful disciple sent forth to build the early church, and yet he was still a bit of flesh, a man who wrestled with a thorn.
Don’t let other people make you feel inferior, or not spiritual enough, or even too spiritual, or as if you don’t belong. In fact, one of the best things about seeking the Lord’s favor is that the favor or disfavor of other people tends to just fade away like background noise.