In college I lived it up. I’m not proud of the things I did and I honestly wish I could do it over and make a lot of changes. I said all the right things and went to all the right Bible studies, but outside of those things, I didn’t look like a Christian. I looked like a major hypocrite.
I did a lot of justifying and asking for forgiveness through much of college. I had a warped view of God and how He expected me to live. I told myself things like, “Jesus, paid for my future sins so I can go ahead and do this and God will have to forgive me.” Then when facing the consequences of my sins, I plead on my face for God to spare me. Looking back I feel ashamed and I’m amazed that God didn’t kill me then and there. He would have been perfectly right to.
Looking back to college and even part of seminary, I don’t think I rightly understood God or my sin. I wasn’t just justifying minor sins, but I was justifying major ones as well. Even the smallest sin is an offense to a holy God and deserves eternal punishment. God didn’t save me so I could live my best life now. He didn’t save me so I could rebel and live any way I pleased. He saved me to conform me to the image of His Son and make His glory known.
We can often live as though God is our genie. Our first wish is to get out of hell. Our second wish is to live a comfortable life. Our third wish might be to do whatever we want and God turn a blind eye. When we think like this, our view of God is warped and we may not understand the true magnitude of what God has done for us.
God invites us into a much more fulfilling life than to exist and die in comfort. He invites us into mission, purpose, and joy. He created us as humans to glorify and enjoy Him. When we aren’t doing those things we lack contentment. Something is missing. This is why those who seemingly have it all still search for more.
The first humans lived in a garden with unhindered fellowship with their Creator. After they sinned that fellowship was broken. We’ve been longing for it ever since. In Christ, fellowship between man and God was restored. Salvation’s purpose isn’t to escape hell. It’s to be with our Creator. That’s what we’re yearning for. Being saved to only then go and rebel again is a misunderstanding of the purpose of our existence. Jesus made clear that the only way for us to live our best life is to lose our life in Him. That’s what I wish I knew in college.