When “good enough” isn’t enough
ActiveChristianity with Becky Stryker
Since Becky was in her late teens she has devoted herself to being a true disciple of Jesus Christ. ActiveChristianity recently sat down with Becky to find out what that really means to her.
What inspired you to be a disciple?
I was at a Christian conference, and the speaker was talking about the parable about the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. He was speaking about how they were all “good Christians” and they lived a good life, but the big difference between the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins was what happened inside of them, in the hidden where no one could see. The five foolish were content with a good comfortable life and a good appearance before people. But the five wise virgins weren’t satisfied with that. They wanted to deny themselves and be changed and transformed so that they were well-pleasing to Jesus. So that they could get to know Him, and He could get to know them.
That was a turning point for me, because I realized that I was one of those “foolish virgins.” There was a lot in me that just wanted to look good, and have a generally “good life” – that was good enough for me. But God worked in my heart that day that it wasn’t good enough any longer. Now I needed to go into a deeper life. It became so clear to me that if I wanted to get to know Jesus, then I also had to learn to deny myself when no one else could see, in the hidden.
That day Jesus became so much more than just a name to me. He was alive for me! I felt that He came to live in my heart and my mind. That relationship has become the dearest thing to me. I can’t express how dear. It’s like I can’t spend a moment seeking my own; I don’t want to, because I know it wouldn’t be pleasing to Him. All of my thoughts are His thoughts. I have nothing to hide. I don’t want anything else. I just want Him to completely guide everything for me, my thoughts, my life, to train me to be like Him.
You mention the phrase to “deny myself” a couple of times. What does that mean?
The best example I can give of what that means is when something doesn’t go my way. I start to think, “Why did that happen? Why couldn’t that person do it this way? Why couldn’t they say it like this?” Then I know that impatience wants to come out of me. It can come out in my words, or my actions, or the way that I look at someone, or the way I turn my body, or anything like that.
But to deny myself means that I am awake and aware of those temptations to impatience when they come up. And I choose to say “no” in the hidden. I say a firm “no!” and then those things are not allowed to come out of my body. Instead it can be patience and tender care and love. No one else even needs to know that I was even tempted, but Jesus saw what I did, that I denied myself so that I am well-pleasing to him, rather than giving in to my own feelings, my own sin.
How are you sure in your heart that you are a disciple?
I know that I am not committing conscious sin, and I also have a desire to find more sin, in order to cleanse it out of my life. Because a disciple never stops. A good outward life is never enough. I’m not satisfied with that.
Can you expand a bit on what you mean by never being satisfied?
I think of the verse in Psalm 17:15: “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness.” That is my goal; that is what I am aiming for. I will be satisfied with nothing else besides that. I just take one day at a time, and go from moment to moment determined to be faithful and to deny myself and be well-pleasing to Jesus. And I am zealous for that!
What motivates you to continue to live like this?
It’s plain and simple: I’ve become so indescribably happy. It was really hard, at first. But as I continued, I learnt. Psalm 144:1-2: “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge.” That’s how I experienced it. And I became so happy. Not just a feeling of happiness, but it’s the truth in my heart and in mind.
So it’s worth it to just hold out when the going seems tough. I’ve become happier and happier every day.
I have chosen to live this life as a disciple, and can testify that there is no other life worth living. It’s the greatest life possible.
This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål
You might also be interested in our theme page about Overcoming sin.