Life Revised Conversations: It’s Not About Being Good on the Surface

Posted: March 19, 2013 in Life Revised
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A life revised conversation with Author and Missionary, Andy Smith

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Although religious as a child, Andy Smith felt like there was something missing in his life during his teen years. In this one-on-one interview, he recounts his journey towards knowing God in a personal way and how it transformed him from the inside-out. Today, he serves as an OMF International missionary and plants churches in Albay.

Q: What was life like before knowing Jesus?

Andy: I grew up in a large family.  My first goal was to please my parents.  Since they stressed morality and good deeds, I tried to be moral and to help others.  We were faithful members of a certain church.  The message I heard it preach was about earning salvation.  So, it also urged me to be good.

On the surface, I appeared to be very good.  But in my heart, I knew otherwise.  I helped others for my own sake.  I did it so that others would praise me.

In my teen years, I became restless.  Two things shook my foundations.  First, science could not answer life’s biggest questions such as “Where did we come from?” and “What is the purpose of life?”  Second, although people loved me, I hungered to experience a deeper love.

Q: How did things change?

Andy: In my last year of high school, a friend invited me to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting.  Thinking I was a Christian and being an athlete, I thought I would fit well in such a group.  I was wrong.  The others knew how to worship God and gain wisdom from the Bible.

After the meeting, I mentioned my observations to my friend.  He replied, “Andy, you know a lot about Jesus, but you don’t know Him.”

I returned home and meditated on his statement.  After several hours, it struck me.  I had considered Jesus just another historical figure.  But if He really is God, then He is alive now and forevermore, and therefore He can be known.  I wept in repentance.  Then I asked God to let me get to know Him through Jesus Christ.

The next day, I went to school.  We had a classmate that everyone avoided.  When I saw her, a love for her filled my heart.  I froze in shock and processed what was happening.  Not only did God love me deeply, but He also gave me a deep love for others, including the unlovely.

Q: How has knowing Christ altered your life?

Andy: Since then, God has enabled me to serve others for their sake and in joyful obedience to Him.  Further, He has taught me much from His Word.  As a result, He has answered many of my biggest questions.  I now know that He is the Creator.  I have discovered that the purpose of life is to glorify Him, primarily by being the Church and by making disciples.  That knowledge has fixed the priorities for my life, first as a student, then as a working person, and now as a missionary.  It helps me choose the best activities from a large number of good options.

By grace, God continues to transform me.  I used to exaggerate to get attention.  Since His love for me meets my need for attention, I now tell the truth.  Much of my time used to go to playing sports.  But He disciplined me, leading to a significant injury.  Most of my energy now goes to serving others.  Meeting goals used to be my passion.  He has made me more balanced.  Although I still work towards goals, I now do so in ways that show my respect for people.

I am not the person I used to be.  I have not yet become all that God wants me to be.  But He has promised to keep making me more like Jesus.  I only hope that I remain like clay in His hand, being molded into His desire.

The Risen Lord changed history and He can also change your story. Join the life revised conversations on Facebook: omfliterature and Twitter: @omflit this Lent. Use the hashtag #liferevised

Has the Lord transformed your life? Share your life revised story with us at digital@omflit.com

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