Dear New and Overwhelmed Christian

It was so good to get your email and hear that you’ve been a Christian for almost a year now.

I’ve loved it, but it is also pretty overwhelming as I am just developing as a Christian and so many things are being thrown my way. Things such as Anglican tradition, special holidays, different perspectives of the Word and Christ, ways to act as a Christian woman, you name it.

I am not sure how long you’ve been a Christian, but I am pretty sure it’s been longer than I have been. Do you have any tips or advice you could pass on, which will help me in my journey with God as a new Christian? Advice regarding getting through the Word of God, praying always, listening to God, applying God to every aspect of my life, etc.?

First, praise God for giving you the gift of faith in Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice for your sins. I’m so excited I have a new “sister” in the family of God.

I’m sorry that the excitement of your new life in Christ has been crowded out a bit by lots of other stuff being thrown your way.

Don’t ever get over Christ and what He has done for you.

My main advice to you is this: Don’t ever get over Christ and what He has done for you. Remember that you contributed nothing to your salvation. You were dead spiritually.

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him [Christ], having forgiven us all our trespasses (Col. 2:13).

Dead people can do nothing! God had to give you the gift of faith in His Son in order for you to even see how beautiful His offer of salvation is:

By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8).

Guard yourself from believing that God will be more pleased with you if you read Scripture, pray, go to church, etc. Some Christians refer to these activities as “means of grace.” That’s because rather than them being acts we do for God, they are ways in which God graciously makes us more like Jesus.

So pursue these means of grace as gifts, not as duties. Here are a couple means of grace I’d start with:

1. Get involved in a solid church.

You need community; Christianity was never meant to be a solo sport. Here are three websites that can help you find solid churches in your area (but realize that they might not list every option in your area, so it’s also a good idea to talk to other Christians you know for recommendations):

2. Study the Word of God daily.

All of Scripture points to Christ, so this is where you go to look for and at Him. Ask an older, godly woman who has walked with God awhile to teach you how to read and study God’s Word. Here are a few posts I’ve written on the subject that will help:

Then take a deep breath. It’s okay that there’s so much you don’t know right now. I’ve been raised on the Bible since I was a little girl, and there is still so much I don’t know! Above all, set out to know Christ.

As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Col. 2:6–7).

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Robert Murray M’Cheyne: “For every look at self take ten looks at Christ.”

It’s fine to explore some of these other things that are being thrown at you, but above all, keep the main thing the main thing. Or rather, the main Person the main Person: Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord. As you do, I can say with Paul:

I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).

About Author

Paula Hendricks Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. Instead, she blogs for teen girls and women by day and journals her adventures by night. Her first book, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, released September 2013, and she lives with her hubby (yes, hubby!) in Syracuse, New York.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Morgan

    Wow, talk about a timely post! I’m a bit of a baby in Christ still, and I’ve been worrying a lot that I’m not legit because I’m not as spiritual as a lot of other Christians. But God has given me faith, so I’ll use it; I’ll keep on keeping on with Jesus and remember my relationship with Him is more important than the things I do to try to get Him to like me more (which is what I’ve been doing lately. I turned into a Martha lol). I’m glad I decided to check my email today so I could see this, lol.

    • Amen, Morgan! You’re not as “babyish in Christ” as you think. You acknowledged that the faith you have is a gift from God, which is exactly right. He drew you to Himself; He chose to adopt you before He even created the world! (See Ephesians 1:4). And He chose you when there was nothing lovely about you (see Romans 5:6-10). Based on the incredible cost He paid to redeem you from your sins and clothe you with His righteousness, you can know that He could never love you more or less than He already does.

      You’re exactly right–the key is remembering and rehearsing this good news to yourself often–choosing to believe it again and again, and to turn from sin to Christ again and again.

      Praying for you now, Morgan,

      paula