The Most Boring Christian I Know

September 7, 2011

And we’re back!  Today, I’m participating in a synchro-blog hosted by Ally Spotts,  called “Confessions of a Christian Twenty-Something.”  There’s several other participating bloggers, so when you’re done here, check out who else is writing and maybe discover some other cool bloggers.

The idea of participating in this little blog schindig sounded cool, so I signed up.

Then I had to think of a “confession” to make.

Crap.  That’s hard.  Can’t think of anything off the top of my head.  Things are fairly awesome right now, actually

Does that make me sound like a prideful jerk to say that I don’t have anything to confess?  Maybe I could confess my pride…no, that’s lame.

Maybe I could sneak a peek at what the other bloggers are confessing, just to get the guilty creative juices flowing.  Kind of like being a prayer group voyeur.  Nothing wrong with that, right?

Let’s see…insecurity…guilt…doesn’t go to church…doesn’t pray…

Well, none of those really apply to me.  Dang it.

But that really is the story of my life.  When prompted for a prayer request, I rarely have big problems that people want to pray about.  I don’t have a confession of guilt I feel compelled to make in public.  Some people have constant prayer requests, don’t they?  I imagine God spends a lot more time on them.  After all, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

That’s when it hit me…I’m a really boring Christian.

Boring by Nature

I guess I’ve been this way my entire life.  When I was a kid, I wasn’t a class clown or an entertainer.  I guess I was a smart kid, but that’s something no one really cares about.  No one says, “Remember that brainiac kid in fourth grade?  He was awesome!”

When I was a teenaged preacher’s kid, I went right down the middle of the road.  I didn’t become some crazed proselyte, trying to convert my entire school.  But I also didn’t go off the deep end and embarrass my parents by getting drunk on three buck chuck and wrecking their car.  Either one of those extremes were what people seemed to expect.  So I was always pleased when I could get to know someone for a while before they realized I was a Christian or my Dad was a pastor.

And as an adult, I don’t think I’m particularly boring to be around.  I think I’m a fun guy.  But I’m not one of those guys whose whole life just inspires the crap out of everyone I meet.

This One Time…

I like my life the way it is.  But it kind of bugs me…

It bugs me that while I tried to be good as a kid, the bad kids have the best stories and personal anecdotes that everyone wants to hear.  Well excuse me for never going on a three day bender and getting caught stealing road signs in the nude so I could give you a touching personal story about how Jesus met me in county jail.  With a story like that, I could really build a career as a motivational speaker and spiritual guru.

Guess what, fellow boring Christians and good kids: we didn’t really need to try so hard to be good.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had screwed up a few times, flunked a few classes, broken the law a couple of times.

And since the most entertaining stories are the ones of people being bad, it bugs me when Christians have to then oversell Christianity.  It’s like we need Jesus to be super exciting, and life with Jesus is going to be a grand adventure, full of magic and wonder, far beyond anything my tiny brain cells can imagine.  It’s like we have to make Jesus sound more exciting than all the sin we’re missing out on.

Well what if life with Jesus is going to work, taking care of the family, mowing the grass?  Because that’s pretty much what my life with Jesus looks like.  Life didn’t turn into a carnival inside a hot-air balloon inside a unicorn just because I got baptized.

Christian Exhibitionism

And, yeah, it does kind of bug me that in our new thirst for “transparency,” and “authenticity,” Christians strain to be the biggest exhibitionists they can be.  Whether in the blogs or in the prayer groups, to my boring little self, sometimes it feels like we’re going out of our way to expose ourselves to others, trying really hard to scrape up some dirt on ourselves, just to prove to others that we are, in fact, human…

Tell me, were you a good kid or a bad kid?  Do you have a great conversion story, or are you just a boring old run of the mill Christian?

50 responses to The Most Boring Christian I Know

  1. Before Jesus saved me, I was an obnoxious little snot.

  2. P.S.: I’m not little any more.

  3. John, you are funny. Love your humor!

    Okay, on to the question. I was a good kid and am so thankful I accepted Jesus as my Savior at an early age of around 7. I followed his teachings and had a desire to live for Him every day since. I avoided a lot of pain and bad experiences that others have had and am eternally grateful to God for his gift of salvation and His work in my life. If that’s boring to others, so what!

  4. Wow, this is a cool post. I thought I was the only one.

    I had such a tough time with Christianity as a teenager because I am so boring. This was especially evident at church camp–don’t get me wrong, I loved church camp–but for the longest time I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t have this really dramatic “getting saved” experience that it felt like everyone around me was having. I never had the overwhelming urge to stumble, weeping, toward an altar call. I never had a great story of Jesus rescuing me from suicide or drug use. As a (admittedly now) stupid teenager, I was often worried that maybe I wasn’t “really saved” because I didn’t have a nice, coherent conversion story.

    Fortunately, I’ve come to realize that my connection with Jesus is something that I have to establish on a daily basis (not just one time at a showy altar call). However, I’m still pretty uncomfortable with the “exhibitionist” aspects of church. I really can’t do communal prayer at all–I figure that if God hears my prayer requests, why do I have to share them with everybody else?

    That, and I think I need to use “three buck chuck” in a sentence sometime.

  5. Thanks for being so transparent. Ha. I was the good kid too. I didn’t really do anything bad. I did give wine coolers a try late in high school but it wasn’t something that got media coverage or anything like that. I wasn’t Christian either. I claimed it because my biggest and most important peer group, as well as my parents, were christian and I wanted to look good to them.

    You read my mind in the last paragraph. It’s about sensationalism. We can’t just experience something on it’s own merits we need to “beef it up” to make it sell. I think there is a difference in the public declarations of those from a satirical perspective who frame there stories in a way to leverage the most irony or parody. But sharing the sordid, ugly details to tantalize is becoming tiring. Desensitization is upping the ante.

  6. I started out as a good kid, but by high school I was really into the drug thing. Actually, that was nearly 40 years ago and no one cares or even believes what I was then.

    All the guys that I was close to are dead or in jail. I took my wife (then my GF) to my 30th HS reunion and one of the guys who knew me pretty well put his arm around her and said: “Reconsider, I know this guy!”

    Bad boy (girl),awesome testimonies are inspiring when you are new to the game, but after awhile they are just that. I find the testimonies of walking with Jesus in the day-to-day pretty awesome. Some one in need of help on the roadside gets saved by a passing Christian or shows up at church. Healing, encouraging personal prophecy, deeply intimate worship – I find Jesus outrageously exciting! I love his presence, and he still blows my freakin’ mind on a regular basis.

    The real testimony is not about what we got saved from, but we have been saved for!

    Thanks for sharing Matt. I think you’re awesome, and I wish we could hang out do some boring stuff. 😉

  7. I dunno. I was a bad-ish kid. Not really bad. Not really good. But I leaned toward bad, so I don’t really know what that means. As for transparency, that’s always something I value, but I enjoy making something out of nothing – that defeats the point of being transparent.

  8. I spent my youth getting high with the popular kids, getting drunk all the time. I even slept with the prom queens best friend….and I ….wait…no…i couldn’t pull that off…LOL..

    The above account was not me…i confess…

    I’m with you matt…

    church grown and proud of it!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeeehaawww!

  9. I was a jerk. Sex, drugs, and alcohol pretty much summed up my HS years. What’s crazy though is that stuff was just a cop out. I pretty much couldn’t stand who I was and was trying to hide. So yeah, I have one of hose crazy turn-around stories.

  10. I can relate to this post. I was a good kid,and even in my rebellious years the worst I could think of doing was whispering curse words (so the grown ups couldn’t hear) and trying alcohol twice and cigarettes once. Rebel without a clue.

    Life didn’t turn into a carnival inside a hot-air balloon inside a unicorn just because I got baptized.

    That part resonated with me because in recent years my greatest lament was that I wasn’t doing enough GREAT things:Radical, Crazy Love, end war and poverty, transform everything into heaven on earth type stuff. I lost track of just how much it meant to be a decent husband, teacher, and human being. I think the call about talking up the excitement of everything is right on and speaks to our entertainment cultural mindset as much as our exhibitionism. Because of Christ, there is value in the everyday.

  11. I was a good kid, accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at twelve, then had some problems, turned my back on God and became a bad adult. I turned back to God after seeing what a mess being bad makes of your life. God is helping me walk as a “good” adult as much as I “let” Him.

    That is why I worry about my “good kid” more than the rebellious kids because I wonder if they are just waiting to go into rebellion when they are on their own. However, after hearing your testimony, there is a chance that they will grow up to be good adults, too and skip the rebellion. ;-).

  12. Here’s an interesting,(more like boring), twist on the whole thing. I was a drinking, smoking, user of ‘controlled substances’, 70’s freak. BUT, I straightened out, like, 8 YEARS BEFORE I became a christiian…. So no great conversion turn around here. ‘cept, maybe being delivered from a ‘new age outlook’!

  13. Definite “good kid” here. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my share of bad things, but I definitely have the most boring testimony in the world (we should have a competition). I was 8. I was a good kid before. I was a good kid after. There was no huge fear or misunderstanding that I needed to overcome before I “got saved.” It was just time. So I did it. (Really sucked when I was taking the “FAITH” evangelism training because I couldn’t in good conscience use the required phrase “and then I made a life-changing decision” – they thought I was being difficult, but I was just trying to be honest instead of trite. I substituted “and then I made a decision which has affected the rest of my life.”)

    God has done some amazing things in my life and brought me through some awesome experiences, but the “testimony” is severely lacking.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about fame lately and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t want it. People with a “voice” tend to be stuck on pedestals and then feel the need to go to extraordinary measures to be seen as “normal.” I’d rather be boring in the first place and just not have that pressure. Plus, there’s plenty of good work to be done in my own neck of the woods. I don’t need a national voice to help the people in my city or even to help open the eyes of people in my community to the needs of the larger world around us.

  14. I was (and still am!) a boring Christian, and a part of me has always wished I had some crazy cool conversion story.

    When I was 8, I was baptized. I remember being asked when I had “asked Jesus into my heart” … and making something up because I honestly couldn’t remember.

    When I went to college, I thought I’d break the “good girl” image, but the most trouble I managed to get myself into was downing a few shots in the dorm on the weekends. I pretty quickly figured out that wasn’t how I really wanted to spend my time.

    Thanks for this post, Matt! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one :).

  15. Ha, just like Matt, I don’t know exactly when I got saved, but there were about 2-3 weeks in middle school when I “prayed the prayer” every night. Ha!

    Something in me shouted when I read the title of this post. Having been a good girl all my life, when I hang out with my unbelieving friends, I feel a little lacking in the wild stories department. I’m thankful to have been saved from awfulness that could have happened, but, still… you know.

  16. I’m a good girl with my own share of wild stories… Like the time in college when the Gideons were giving out pocket bibles and some of the students were taking them and then throwing them away, I spent my out of class time pulling them out (the dry ones anyway) and then brought them to a local youth bible study (yes, I told them were they came from….). Yes, I tell that story, then point and laugh at the look on people’s faces that this is my “wild” story! So I guess I’m a bit of a wild adult! :-)

  17. Matt, this is amazing. I love your tone and your message. Thanks so much for participating in this!

  18. Hey, I was a brainiac in 4th grade and people said I was totally awesome. Speak for yourself.

    Actually, you’re right. Nobody says that. I was/am? a boring run of the mill Christian too. I’ve often wondered if my life and testimony would be more “exciting” or “powerful” if I did/do get all messed up with poor life choices. But therein lies the power of other people’s testimonies and being thankful for God’s grace in preserving me from various scenarios, for whatever reason He saw fit.

  19. I was a good kid my whole life. However, I struggled with depression and suicide in junior high. Though I was raised in the church, I didn’t have a true understanding of faith and actually got saved at a Geoff Moore & the Distance concert. Bonus points to whoever remembers them! I then went on to be a good girl in high school until I rebelled in college. Turns out the stuff I thought I was missing out on as a good Christian was not all it was cracked up to be. God and I have been on good terms ever since and I can’t imagine where I’d be without Him.

    • I remember Geoff Moore and The Distance! And Geoff was at our church in Ocean Grove, Vic, Australia a few years ago!! And he is still an amazing singer, works with Compassion nowadays.

  20. I am the boring Christian that you were warned about.

    I have no real pizzazz to my story of faith.

    I’ve been a Christian so long that I really don’t remember life when I wasn’t one.

    However…

    Boring works for me. Sure, I’m not boring in person (at least, I don’t think so, and my friends are too nice to tell me if I am). But I can look someone in the eye and honestly tell them that this is how my life has almost always been, and quite frankly, some of the stuff that’s rolled my way would’ve pulled me totally under if I didn’t have God as an anchor in all of that. No drugs, no jail, no booze, no flunking anything, honor roll every quarter for all four years of high school, waited till I got married, blah, blah, blah; quintessential good kid all grown up into good adult.

    What nobody ever really thinks about is that adulthood, well, SUCKS. More than you thought it would when you were a teenager and couldn’t wait to be an adult. There are things that happen and suddenly you have to be the grownup. There are things that don’t happen and you still have to be the grownup when your own disappointment is fierce.

    “Boring” testimony? I suppose so. When compared to people whom God has literally brought back from the brink.

    Powerful in its own way? Yeah, I’m pretty sure of that. Mostly because I can say with confidence that being the good, boring Christian kid doesn’t exempt you from curveballs–like suddenly being responsible for three little kids–in life, curveballs that you know you wouldn’t have made it through without God to cling to.

  21. I am also one of those boring Christians :) SO much so that the other day I was pissed off at something someone had done to me that I wanted to live the words from that Avril Lavigne song “All my life I’v been good but now …” But I could not even think of something ‘bad’ to do that I would actually have the guts to do.

  22. Dear Pastor Appling,

    Your post here about being a good person, and the comments from so many other good people who are also Christians, calls for a followup.

    Please address this issue in a subsequent post:

    I was a good kid, a real Boy Scout. Studied hard and made good grades in college. Married, stayed 100% faithful. Worked three jobs to support kids. Attended church. Tithed. Christian worker. Taught Sunday School. Relatively honest in all business dealings.Lived as a decent person….

    So, my question is this– why do I feel so damn guilty all the time?

    Is this a common experience among decent Christians who haven’t been forgiven some biggie, or is guilt unique to my individual warped worldview?

    John Cowart

    • I think it’s common, for no conceivable reason that I know of. Mother Theresa wrote in her journal quite a bit that she felt guilty, that God was displeased with her. Mother freakin Teresa.

    • You know I talk to young people all the time who have had the privelege to walk with God their entire lives, this is an amazing testimony, you are the product of someone who maybe had one of those -saved from the brink of hell testimonies, you were taught about Jesus from the day you were born or for as long as you can remember, because of the saving power of Jesus through your parents or whoever took care of you. You were in His hand all your life, saved from all kinds of stuff, you had the advantage to be trained how to deal with everything life threw at you from a Biblical perspective.We sometimes look at others lives and wish we could have that testimony , the enemy of our soul plays with us that ours isnt real enough, its a lie, and EVERY testimony is as unique as the person themselves, God cared so much for you that He called your heart to His …PERIOD!!!If it was good to Him shouldnt we think its good enough for us.You are blessed at whatever point you get to that point where you accept Jesus!!!Those who have that brink of death testimony will now pass that inheritance on to their children so they will have the privelege to know Jesus all their lives!!!!!Just my 2 cents!!!

  23. “Well excuse me for never going on a three day bender and getting caught stealing road signs in the nude so I could give you a touching personal story about how Jesus met me in county jail.”

    I’m still laughing…

  24. Mine is a mixture of both actually. Sounds odd but true, part of it is boring and another part really wild.

  25. I was so young when I was saved I can’t even remember, so when I was baptised at 12, i thought people would think I wasn’t a Christian so I made up some random date. I think thats one of the worst things i’ve ever done.
    But I’m still only 16, so i guess it good reading all this, cos definatley at times I think I could have some wicked-cool testimony if I went and hung out with some different kids on the weekends.
    Thought after reading all that, i’m pretty happy being a boring Christian :)

  26. I know I’m late reading this, but thanks for the post. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I love my life, but sometimes, when compared with others, it looks a little boring. This is true whether I cam comparing to those seeking pleasure or those seeking God. I believe in miracles, signs, wonders…just haven’t had a lot happen to me. Can’t really explain it. I know all the anecdotes about more prayer, more bible reading, more this and that. The problem is, I think for the most part I have done those things. Furthermore, I know I can never DO ENOUGH to deserve these things anyway. So, that leaves me answerless. I’m not sure why my life isn’t exploding with testimonies of God’s miraculous intervention. I don’t know why everything I have ever tried to do for Jesus didn’t result in millions of salvations. I don’t know why I don’t walk out of my daily devotions with face glowing. Thanks for letting me know that someone else feels the same way. I still don’t have an answer, but I think you have lent a little clarity to the question.

  27. I was a boring little nerd. LOL!
    Seriously..you really pointing something great.

    For an introvert like me, I love peaceful, simple but full of purpose and goal kinda life.

    Surrounded by exhibitionist extrovert doesn’t make it easier though. And i keep asking myself what’s wrong (if there is) with me. But now I guess some Christians are just boring. 😀

  28. And yeah!! I guess all the good kid has that slight of regret. When you graduated and start your job, and peoples are bragging about how glorious their highschool days were.

    I always thought I wish I could go back and do many stupid things like they did. Not just sat at home and being brainiac kids who graduate a year earlier w/ magna cum laude. 😀

  29. I notice this series is titled “Confessions of a Twenty-Something Christian” so having just been directed here by Twitter, I am going to say, as a forty-something Christian, be grateful for every boring minute of your boring life. A basically boring life is the most wonderful gift you can be given, because all the stuff that makes your life exciting and gives you a wonderful, thrilling testimony … SUCKS. I don’t mean just a sinful past, though that sucks and cleaning up the consequences also sucks, I also mean pain and suffering and hardship — if none of those has come along to make your life and your testimony “interesting” yet, then get down on your knees and praise the Lord. You have been richly blessed.

    I am 46 years into the most boring life ever, and I thank God every day for it and pray it stays that way. And try to use my blessings to help those whose lives are, sadly, more exciting.

  30. I’ve just discovered this blog series and I think it’s really cool. I’m only a 17 year old but these things are still issues that I can relate to. All my life I’ve been what’s considered a ‘goody good’ kind of kid and always got the awards at school and stuff. I became a born again Christian just before starting high school and to be honest that was quite hard. The testimonies from the ‘bad kids’ and their amazing stories made me feel quite worthless- like my story couldn’t change or make any difference to anyone’s life. However, I came to realise this world needs boring Christians. Yep, it sounds strange but I think God purposed our lives this way so that as Christians we could evangelise to all walks of life. I mean, seriously not all of us are bad kids, so obviously God made us who we are, how we are for a reason. Thanks for posting this!

  31. So nothing you do requires God. Is your life and decisions controlled by you if so and if you can control it it will be boring. Relying on God isn’t boring. Trusting God to do great things is not boring. Prayer requests for what God us leading you to do not that you a re sick or something like that. We are not called to be boring.

  32. I was a boring, good kid. I didn’t like that my family smoke and drank and played loud music. I suppose they were “fun?” I tried to cuss in college, but even that didn’t sound right coming from my goody two-shoes mouth. Even in my kinda-wild, post-college days, I wasn’t that interesting. And my husband didn’t even have a kinda-wild phase, so he even beats me out at boringness!

  33. I’m a new Christian, and have been making peace lately with the idea that I *can* be boring. I spent pretty much my entire pre-Christian life pursuing the aesthete’s ABCs: art, beauty, and cheap thrills. I don’t think this made me a bad person; if I had to do it all over again, I’m not sure if I would (or could) have done it any other way. Yet, all the same, I’m so happy to leave it behind, knowing there’s something greater out there.

    It’s funny; part of me was taken aback when I first started attending church by how “boring” everybody was. All that meant, of course, was that they didn’t have the same lurid tales as I did. What’s changed since then is not that they’re “boring” on the same scale as before, but that them being “boring” matters so much less. That’s one of the things I am liking most about grace – it doesn’t use your conversion story as currency.

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