How does one converse with and shed light in the life of those who accepted Jesus in their childhood and are now young adults who are lukewarm in their faith? And are they still saved or is that initial invitation to Jesus in innocent childhood enough.
I’ll give a few examples of certain people in my life:
- my little brother, 18, spends most of his available time on Netflix watching shows with immoral practices, and video games. He has a porn addiction and also spends time with friends who smoke, vape, swear, drink, sleep around and who knows what else, and the more time he spends in this lifestyle the less he cares about his faith. He’s revealed to me that the reason he spends all his time doing these things, particularly drowning his thoughts on Netflix, is to get his mind off his problems. It also seems a problem he can’t connect his faith to his daily life.
- A friend of mine who grew up attending church most Sundays, slipped and fell into drinking, drugs, sex, cussing, smoking and everything else that falls into those categories. Her family is very traditional according to their culture, women wear skirts or dresses, kerchiefs after marriage for a submissive head covering, aren’t supposed to cut their hair, no makeup, no jewellery, no piercings, no dyeing ones hair, even nail polish is “bad”, they profess these things are biblically sound. While they believe in Jesus, it’s always seemed to they put more weight on their traditions and rules than on the saving faith of Jesus. I believe this has led to a superficial faith and makes it easier to slip into horrible habits and not be too concerned about it. She professes to be a Christian and has phases where she prays and reads the bible, but she always slips back and her lifestyle just doesn’t change.
- My cousin, who is also my best friend, married a few years ago and they have a little girl, almost one now. My cousin accepted Jesus at a young age and was baptized before she was married. Her husband can’t read well enough to lead bible reading or devotions and also doesn’t pray, for whatever reason. He also isn’t very passionate or educated about the person of Jesus. He grew up in a broken home with parents being poor examples. But he does profess to be a Christian and was also baptized before they were married. (But both were baptized only because in their culture individuals must first be baptized to be married.) My cousin struggles with being the spiritual leader and confided in me that she doesn’t read the bible or pray and when she does she is tormented because she feels like no one is there, she’s just speaking to the darkness. She deals with deep fear at night, she says she’s always seeing things in the dark and she’s afraid, yet when we have these deep conversations and I give her scripture readings that address her topics of interest, or I provide her with resources that are biblically sound and would help her, she accepts and appreciates it but when we follow up she hasn’t cracked the first page and her problem remains the same. She also deals with a Netflix addiction, and says that it helps get her mind off all the unanswered questions and confusion in her mind, and while she wants to do better and not watch so much and come closer to Jesus, she says she doesn’t have that self control.
It may sound like I’m being critical of their lifestyles- I’m not. I went into depth to explain the circumstances so that maybe hopefully someone out there has some words of wisdom for me to be a better blessing in their lives. I love them all so dearly and want the best for them, but sometimes I wonder if I can say too much and I should back away and let them make their own mistakes, after all we all make mistakes. Or maybe I’m not presenting Jesus to them in the proper light that would make them want to draw closer to Him as well. I’m just not sure😬
I know I packed a lot into this thread, I guess I’m just full of questions myself and I’m not sure how to split this into separate threads. I also grew up in a denominational church that holds fast to its traditions, some of which seem a bit superficial to me. My church is so very tame, there’s no passionate worship, singing is done sitting properly, everyone looking sombrely at their hymnals, the pastors seem unapproachable as they are all dressed up in matching black tuxedos and have an appearance of superiority. And while questions aren’t discouraged, they’re definitely never encouraged either. And they do not address modern topics that engage youth, and therefore I grew up with many unanswered questions. I feel so very blessed to have encountered the ministry of Ravi Zacharias, which has led me to RZIM connect. Finally a place where questions are welcome!! Thankyou to anyone who gives some insight. And please forgive my scattered questions