I left god for good

Sent in by Laurie

In 2000 I became a born again Christian, I read the bible, I went to church, I listened to Christian music, I guess you could say I "lived" the Christian life. And I thought that all my Christian friends were such great people, so loving and caring and understanding. But then I really found out how wonderful those so called "Christian" friends were.

You see I was gay and when I came out of the closet those friends sure turned in a hurry. They were sure quick to point out that now I was going to hell, that I had turned my back on God and the church and as long as I was gay I couldn't know all the blessings God had in store for me. They even convinced me to go through one of those ex-gay classes at my church and for a short while I did and was convinced that I was straight.

But in the the year or more since I convinced myself I was straight I started questioning God and the bible. Why was it that certain things in the bible were wrong while other things were over looked and seemed to be ok in the eyes of the church and those so called Christians. I started to wonder why we needed to pray when it didn't seem like it was God doing all those wonderful things when in reality it had nothing to do with God buy rather how things worked out.

Then my family went through a very, very, ruff time and continues to do so. But when all those ruff times started I remember praying and praying and praying convinced that God was going to answer my prayer. Well time went on and on and on and God was doing nothing. He saw how my family was suffering and he was doing nothing. Then I was told that sometimes God's answer is no but there is a reason. I thought to myself why would God say no to this suffering that has been going on for so long? If God is such a loving person as they say he is then why won't he help when his children are in need?

The more I started to think about it the more I started to doubt God and his word more and more. I thought about all the terrible things God did in the bible, so much killing and so much suffering. How could this so called loving God be so mean and vindictive?

A few months ago I left God for good and I can't even begin to tell you the weight that was lifted off my shoulders. I didn't have to worry about what I was doing or saying every second of the day. I didn't have to worry whether I was offending God and whether I would get into heaven one day. And I could finally live and be myself, my true self as a lesbian. My self-hatred went away, I began to accept myself and to live free and happy. That is something I could never have done with the weight of God hanging on my shoulders.

I am so glad that I finally saw the light, the light without God.

No good reasons to believe

Sent in by Midwest Atheist

I was raised as a Lutheran. I was a very committed believer and went to church almost every Sunday. I was confirmed in the church and gave a lot of money as a child, for which the church was more than willing to freely provide the donation envelopes.

When I went to college, I began to doubt my faith. Over the course of two years, I went from a stringent believer to a person willing to call myself an atheist. This was not something I woke up one day and just decided to do. It was a process of learning about the Bible: exploring the different contradictions and incorrect history that it contains.

I began to see that there is no good reason to believe that the entire Bible is the inspired, inerrant words of a god. And after much reading and contemplation, I realized that if I didn't believe in certain sections of the Bible, than I needed to question what I really did believe. I needed good reasons to back up my beliefs, and I discovered that there are no good reasons to accept nearly anything in the Bible as literal truth.

At the age of 22 I realized that I was an atheist, and I continue to remain so.

I am a spiritual atheist

Sent in by Jennifer

When I was three, my mom placed a brass crucifix in my room. I had no idea what it was at that time, but I was petrified by it.

It was the scariest thing I had ever seen at that point in my life.

I was forced to attended Catholic school until I was eleven. I remember being in church at the age of 6 and thinking that something just wasn’t right. I thought everyone looked as if they were in a trance when reciting the Apostle’s Creed.

It was scary.

I also thought that the whole drinking the blood and eating the body was so ritualistic and creepy.

I knew even at this young age, that my only “church,” was outside. When I was a teenager I was drawn to Wicca, but eventually stopped practicing that because I just could not believe that there were invisible people in the sky. Instead, I believed in an energy that resides within us all. I never knew there was a name for what I was, but I recently found out that I have always been a Pantheist. Pantheism is a spiritual form of atheism.

Until a few months ago, I thought atheists didn’t believe in anything. The word atheist has a lot of stigma attached to it for me.

I remember when I first met my husband, I asked him if he believed in God. I told him I couldn’t marry an atheist. He told me that he wasn’t one, but didn’t elaborate. For years, I described the energy I believed in as “God”, only realizing recently that when most people say “God” they are referring to an invisible man in the sky. When I realized that, I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard of. I asked my husband how people could actually believe that. He laughed and told me that the first time I had said the word God he thought that was what I believed. He said after getting to know me, he realized I was an atheist in disguise. He never told me because he knew it would have upset me at the time.

Now I have realized that I am a spiritual atheist, agnostic at best. The agnostic part of me fears, “What if Catholicism is right?” “What if there is a hell?” I am going to burn forever because I don’t believe? My heart skips a beat if I refer to myself as an atheist, just because of the stigma that used to be attached to it.

Most of the time I refer to myself as a Pantheist, but I am having trouble with the realization of what I have always been really means. I have had a spiritual “unawakening” or awakening depending on who is looking.

My poetry is immersed with my realizations, and my thoughts are tortured with my past. I feel like being forced into religion at a young age is virtually child abuse, and a severe form of brainwashing. Because I am an artist, I think of the meaning of life more than I should, and my fear of hell has not gone away. I also have extreme bouts of guilt. My family is devoutly Catholic. They are some of the meanest, cruelest people I know, and I need to rid myself of toxic people; yet I feel obligated and guilty. I’m sick of feeling guilty all the time, and need to heal from the past. I was so happy when I found this website, it definitely helps to see that there are others that feel the same way. Thank you so much!

I'm Free!

Sent in by Andre

For years I was in bondage by Christianity — a slave to the church. For years I was pimped financially and otherwise. I was brainwashed into thinking that it is wrong to find women beautiful, that it is wrong to listen to music that didn't have the words "god" "Jesus" "lord" or "worship" in every other sentence.

Then one day in the summer of 1998 I woke up to realize that life is too short to have my life dictated by a book that repeatedly contradicts itself. There are better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in than some boring church service being told that I'm going to hell because I get more excited by a football game than the so-called word of god.

And guess what? Contrary to popular Christian belief, I'm happier now than I was as a Christian.

Christian morality not good enough?

Sent in by Ricky W.

This is a somewhat concise testimonial about logic and morality, and my journey to atheism from Christianity. Firstly, I should mention that I love animals. I'm a vegetarian, in fact. Now actually - much like with atheists, there is usually a backlash against a person who even mentions that he or she is a vegetarian. As soon as that admission is made, defensive questions like, "So you think I'm immoral?" or "Why do you hate humans so much?" pop up. But I'm sure that people here will be less reactive and merely listen to how my thinking process has unfolded. So let's begin.

The reason I'm writing this is that many Christians and other religious people question people's ability to act morally if they don't have a personal God who hands down rules from on high. They think that if there is no God telling you what is right and wrong, that you will have an "anything goes" attitude, and not care about anyone else. My experience shows that this has no factual basis whatsoever.

Let's go back to my childhood. My family was secular, although my mom had gone to Catholic school and she considered herself to be a Catholic, still. One day, I asked my mom why we didn't go to church, and that was the start of a nightmare that repeated every Sunday morning. My mom, feeling guilty that she hadn't gone to church or taken us to church, decided that from then on, we'd attend church, and I and my brother were to go to Sunday school. (If I could only have those wasted Sundays back...) So we started going to a Catholic Church. I must say that overall I still like the Catholic Church (of today) better than many other Christian sects. See, we just sang hymns for most of mass and didn't really get into much besides that. It was more of a ritual, even though Latin was no longer used. There were no "gays are evil" or "vote for this conservative politician" lectures by the priests, for example. And we never even had to read the Bible. Knowing a few things like "Noah's Arc" was good enough. So, at no point did I become a bigot, even then.

One thing I thought back then, was that my suffering showed that I really cared. During mass, I would never go to sleep, and I got angry because my parents let my brother - who didn't seem to care either way about the church - to sleep through every week's mass. I stayed attentive. I cared. I would pray the same prayers over and over again, every night, perhaps for an hour each night before going to bed. I thought that praying was the least I could do, even though I was slowly developing insomnia. (Even when I finally tried to go to sleep, I became unable to. Thankfully, this ended a few years after praying - around when I got into college.) I started to dread bed time, because I didn't want to pray. On the bus to school, I also prayed, but I felt embarrassed, so I tried to hide my clasped hands and closed eyes (the only true way to pray, right?). At the same time, I felt guilty for trying to hide my faith - for being embarrassed about it in the first place.

I was one of the last kids in the neighborhood to stop believing in Santa Claus, although, again, I felt embarrassed for believing in him and I also felt guilty for not speaking out about his existence despite the embarrassment I would receive. I mean, Christians were eaten by lions and still firmly proclaimed their faith. The least I could do was put up with some embarrassment, I thought, but I couldn't. Now my love of animals starts to come into play. It was Christmas Eve, and my stockings were out, and I noticed another stocking. We had a cat named Ollie (and I thought of her as my sister). So I asked my mom to hang a stocking for Ollie, too. By my mom's subsequent horrified expression, which showed for half a second before she could conceal it, I knew that there was something very wrong. My mom said that Santa didn't have any toys for cats. For some reason, I just became really suspicious, because I seemed to have caught my mom off guard. It seemed like she was caught in a lie. From then on, I became skeptical, and maybe the next Christmas, I just asked, point blank, if Santa was real. The answer was that he wasn't (although he "exists in our hearts" or something like that, supposedly). I don't blame my mom for misleading me. I had many nice Christmases, both before and after my realization, but it got me to thinking more.

I started thinking about Ollie and if she would go to heaven. My mom said that Ollie would be in heaven because I would get whatever I wanted in heaven, and if I wanted to be with Ollie, I could. But this didn't satisfy me. What about all of the other animals? What about the un-loved ones? The ones without a human "sponsor" to heaven. Before, I'd questioned why bad things happen to good people, and the answer was that life is infinitely small compared to the time we'd spend in heaven. Thus, even someone with the most miserable life on earth would be eternally rewarded, so the previous misery would seem like just the prick in the arm of a vaccination shot (which I still hate, by the way). BUT WHAT ABOUT ANIMALS? So many animals suffer. I witnessed some of it firsthand. Psychotic children in my neighborhood found toads and threw them into a campfire to see how long they would live, for example. Such things scarred me for life. The Bible is very explicit in that it says that only humans (and only Christians at that) will get into heaven. If that's the case, then God is being unfair to the vast majority of his creation - the animals (and, if you are hardcore, every person who is not in your religious sect). Animals with brains and nervous systems - animals that can feel. Animals that were only used for meat - nothing more... Baby cows used for veal that would never be able to walk, lest their meat get tough... Battery hens in a factory farm with their beaks seared off, their feet hideously deformed by growing into a cage, like a tree grows into a pole, their wings never able to be spread because of the tiny size of their enclosures... These creatures would not have any salvation, yet they would have to face unimaginable suffering. There had to be something in the Bible that would give them justice. But no. Although even to this day, I haven't read the entire Bible, I did start to learn more about it. It turns out that humans have dominion over nature. Animal slaughter pleased God (at least in the "good old days"). Jesus, himself, most likely ate fish, and the most holy people of Christianity were fishermen. If I were God, and I were going to come to earth to spread the Truth, wouldn't I firmly state that these animals, that could suffer but couldn't go to heaven for their justice, were not to be killed? Instead, there is absolutely nothing in the Bible aimed at trying to ease animal suffering. They (even moreso than women and children and slaves) are only property, and are at the mercy of the rest of us. And the funny thing is, a person could torture animals just for fun and still go straight to heaven, supposedly.

I realized that someone who didn't even have the compassion that I had towards animals couldn't be God. God is supposed to be the most compassionate being around, yet I was "out-compassioning" him (with regards to both animals and non-Christian humans). How could that be if he were God? And then, how could a Christian say that an atheist needed religion to care about others if I realized my compassion towards animals didn't come from any religious source that I knew of, but instead just came from the fact that I can see when others suffer, and that I don't like suffering, and thus I don't want others to suffer. It's as simple as that.

It seems, I'm "too compassionate". It's fine to have a certain degree of compassion, but when you go overboard - when you start to care too much about the environment and non-human animals - that's going too far. Don't have that much compassion, please! You're coming off as a bleeding-heart liberal! But like an atheist couldn't give up their reason, even if they were "forced" to at the end of a sword, I can't give up my "extra" compassion, even when others criticize me.

For a while, I started looking into other religions. I learned of the Jains. And although I'm an atheist, I still love them to this day. Their beliefs, condensed, are thus: 1) There is no God (although an afterlife exists). 2) We should not harm any sentient creature. 3) "Anekantavada", or "non-absolutism" means that non-Jains may be right with their own beliefs, or lack thereof, and that dogma that leads to hate between groups is more harmful than learning from other points of view. What a world, it would be, if all religions were such. Hinduism isn't so bad either. Take this, for instance. Throughout history, Jains have claimed that their religion is not part of Hinduism, but certain Hindus have said that Jainism and Buddhism can be considered branches of Hinduism. How amazing! Throughout history (and even now to some extent), Christians and Muslims have tried to murder members of "heretical" sects. Of course, there is only one Truth (with a capital "T") and the difference between if you think that Mary was a virgin for her entire life or if she was only a virgin when she had Jesus could have meant the difference between life and a gruesome death. With Hinduism however, they're like, "Hey, we believe in thousands of gods and you don't believe in any gods, but really, I still consider you guys Hindus." Does that attitude show some religious chauvinism? Maybe. Does that attitude vilify and attempt to exterminate all dissenting views? Not in the least.

Later, I sort of thought of God as love, and our closeness to God as the same as our closeness to love. But finally, I came to call "love" by the name it's already known by - "love" - and came to the conclusion that there really is no God. I am now an atheist. Of course, I also used logic during my "fall from grace". I can continue with ten more paragraphs about how religion is completely illogical. But that's been done already, and it's easy to find elsewhere. Instead, with this, I just wanted to show how my own morality, far from being formed by Christianity, was actually damning proof against Christianity.

Post-Christianity me

Sent in by Sharon

Christianity cut me off from the world. It still cuts me off from the world. Though I have escaped Christianity's control, it is not so easy to escape Christianity's influence. It’s so hard to write about the ways in which it affected me and affects me still. I talk and write in a kind of code, because of the influence of Christianity. My past is so riddled with trauma caused by Christianity that to feel safe telling my story, I have to speak and write in a kind of code devoid of feeling and missing great amounts of detail and description.

Religion might have been okay in my life if I hadn’t been inundated with it to the point that life became unbearable. I’m thankful for dialectical behavior therapy, one of the most important tools in my deconversion process. Dialectical behavior therapy has helped me to dispense with judgment and has added balance to my life.

Christianity taught me that dressing nice and looking pretty was vain. Now that I’ve escaped Christianity’s control, I dress with flair. Now I dress for self-expression and to rebuild my self-esteem and self confidence--thumbing my nose at the conventions under which I previously lived. The post Christianity me likes wearing mini skirts, short shorts, and brightly colored tops. The post Christianity me collects fashion sunglasses, costume jewelry, and novelty scarves. The post Christianity me collects thrift store coats and jackets and cute sweaters to mix and match with different outfits, dispensing with my previously held guilt for failing to “share one of my two coats with him who has none.”

Make mine a DOUBLE...

Sent in by Billybee

I was born (I'm 54) into a family where both my mom and dad were alcoholics. My parents' generation was highly tolerant of heavy drinking and dysfunction. Because they were so poorly equipped to raise well adjusted children, they sent their kids to parochial school in the hope that the fear tactics of Catholic nuns would offset their lack of control over our behavior. The result was the same as throwing a wool blanket over a burning tire. The flames of my bad behavior appeared to be in check, but in reality, something dark and stinky was smoldering under the cover.

I followed my folks' footsteps into a lifestyle of hard drinking and yet maintaining a reasonably respectable social facade'. The religion was never pressed past the point of it's practical usefulness, but the seed of its terror was fermenting just below my boozed out consciousness.

Two identities; NO WAITING!

Beer chuggin' , coke snortin', acid droppin', pot smokin', screwing machine by night. Miserable, confused, truth seeking machine by day. Balancing my dual lifestyle lasted into my twenties. I was at the first of a series of 'rock-bottoms' ,when I caught a T.V. commercial for Hal Lindsey's' book: Countdown to Armageddon! It hit me like blue-lightening; THIS WAS THE ANSWER TO MY UNHAPPINESS! I bought the book and the hook, line and sinker.


Remember that smoldering bomb of toxic poison that I mentioned earlier? Well... she blew. Overnight I went from being the gold-medalist of the Lampshade Olympics into my new identity as Mr. Turnerburn!!!

I won't regurgitate the story that many of the regulars to this site have already told. Suffice it to say that my Jesus fit lasted for about eight years. I didn't back-slide, I went straight into free fall. It took about three years for me to hit bottom again.

Up to this point I had tried every thing from Transcendental Meditation to Alcoholics Anonymous and last, but not least, hard core faith. Nothing had been very beneficial to my hope for personal sanity. But thing were about to radically change.

I got popped for D.U.I. (my second in nine months). Part of my sentence was that I would have to submit to an evaluation of my substance abuse issues. This meant that I would be talking to an actual professional councilor. My system of fixing myself via white-knuckle sobriety with Jesus as my co-pilot had run out of gas. True, it had transported me as best as it could to that point, but the wheels had come off and my old buddy Jehovah didn't know the first thing about fixing flats.

I'm finally on my feet and walking this strange and wonderful road. I expect that there will be bumps, detours, ruts, and the occasional downhill coast. Traveling by reason... it's the only way to fly!

If you logically look at Christianity, it just doesn’t add up

Sent in by Anya

When I contemplate my journey through Christianity, I’m reminded of that old Rod Steward song that goes, “If I listened long enough to you, I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true.” More than anything in the world, I wish I could sincerely believe in Jesus or God, but at this point in time, intellectually and logically, there is no reason to believe.

I grew up in a household of lapsed Catholics. They taught me how to pray and we went to church occasionally, but my parents warned that the Bible wasn’t meant to be taken literally. My mom also used to dabble in astrology and even consulted psychics on occasion. Even though I lacked solid religious structure, I always wanted God to be a close part of my life. Before tests and competitions I would pray to the Almighty to help me win. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. There were times when I experienced such amazing coincidences that I was sure I was getting signs from the Almighty.

In high school I had a boyfriend who was interested in fundamentalist Christianity. The Christians I got to know through him were truly wonderful people, willing to drop anything to help you out. They seemed to exemplify the true spirit of Christ. Of course, there were others that were arrogant and judgmental, but I dismissed them as not being “true Christians”. I also attended Catholic schools for a few years and had many positive experiences with the priests and nuns. I have no sour grapes.

Over the years I continued to identify myself as Christian although I rarely went to church. I still maintained an active prayer life and felt that God was always with me and would protect me and bring me to heaven. To be honest, most of the time I was more worried about my looks, boys, friends, and school, but my underlying belief in the Lord gave me peace of mind. Of course I had been taught about science and evolution but I found ways to rationalize this as being consistent with a Christian God.

This past summer I had what you might call a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized for almost a week. For awhile I totally lost touch with reality. I believed all sorts of things that I now recognize are not true. Among those thoughts was a belief that Jesus was coming down from heaven to take me as his bride. This was based on something I read in the book of Revelations. Obviously, this didn’t happen, although I strongly believed it at the time and even thought I had evidence to justify my expectations. Once my mind straightened out, I was left to wonder if some of the most basic religious ideas that I had might not be true either.

It was while studying for the Law School Admission Test that I had an epiphany. Studying for the test taught me to think logically about everything, and that included religion. I started to realize that if you logically look at Christianity, it just doesn’t add up. If even the apostle’s questioned Jesus, how was I supposed to trust in him when all the evidence pointed against his being the son of God. Plus, to believe in Christ you must also take the Old Testament as being true and that book didn’t hold up to scrutiny either. If this is the God that created the universe, then he also created science, logic, and reason. Why would this God want us to believe in him based on hearsay? There were numerous other questions that Christianity couldn’t answer.

I wish Christianity was true. I wish there was a benevolent God looking out for us who would listen to our prayers. Not having God in my life has left me feeling empty and depressed. I have gone from feeling like an immortal being made in the likeness of God to simply an evolved monkey, nothing more than a collection of cells, alone in the cruel world. This change in belief has certainly humbled me. The church can be so seductive, but in my heart I can no longer call myself a Christian. The decision to live in reality has not been an easy or happy one.

Christianity: the ultimate free-card

Sent in by Stephanie

One of the prevalent themes in Christianity is forgiveness; forgiveness of sins against one another, forgiveness of yourself and God’s forgiveness of us all. In my brief stint and attempt at being a Christian I have learned one thing about this theme: it is the ultimate free card and not only allows you to do anything you want but it even removes all personal responsibility from your actions.

Christians; they seem like a nice group. They are always talking about loving one another and living their lives for others and not for themselves. It sounds as though if you are living in a Christian home you would be surrounded with so much love and support that it would be almost impossible for you to feel insecure, scared and unloved. I certainly bought into that ideal and after growing up without stability and reassurance I thought there had to be something better than what I knew already.

Then I met someone who convinced me that there was. It was called the “Christian lifestyle”. Here there was love, stability and I was promised that I would always be protected, honored, and cherished. A Christian husband would die for his wife and putting her and the family first was what it was all about. Now it wasn’t perfection but it is what they all strive for, why they go to church and what the Bible teaches them. It sounded promising and I was given my first Bible and told that this was the answer to everything. I read, but what I learned from experience would be more poignant.

When my spouse did things that were hurtful to me, I would express hurt; I would cry, or simply state that I did not like what was going on. In the beginning, that was enough. I was again reassured that as a Christian husband, his primary goal was to cherish me and he would do whatever it took to make me happy. We would pray for strength and guidance and that God would make everything in our relationship better. I was comforted by the fact that the Bible was actually saying that the thing I had issue with was wrong but I was introduced to something that until now I had not really understood about the Christian life: FOREGIVENESS.

Now this sounds like a good thing and initially, I believed it was. I mean, after all, I am not perfect but overall I would say I am a good natured person and do not mean to hurt anyone. I make mistakes so if I were to do something that hurt my relatively new spouse, I would love to be forgiven and learn from my experience how not to hurt him going forward. It was somehow comforting to know he would not be holding a grudge about something I had done that unintentionally hurt him. It was also comforting to know that if I said something in anger in the middle of a fight that I regretted, that too could be forgiven. Again, I am anything but perfect and since I am new at this whole “Christian thing” I figured I needed as much grace as possible.

Then, the reality began to sink in. My husband would hurt me again and this time, it was not enough to express it and crying became a manipulative attempt to control him. Apparently you are also called to bite your tongue when upset and wait patiently for the perfect opportunity to respectfully address your wounds. Once all of this was semi sorted out, I would hear those words that I would grow to hate; I’m sorry. Now most women would love to hear this and initially I did as well; I asked for it, but then I would wonder aloud how it is we are having the same argument we had just two weeks ago and he had done the same thing and was again, sorry. This did not make sense to me. If you know something is hurtful and you love someone and they have asked you to stop, the loving thing would be to stop, right? What came next was even harder to understand: if I did not accept the apology immediately (per the Bible) I was the one not living right. Now I will admit that this was tough and I fought it at every turn. It seemed counter intuitive to me to allow someone to continue to hurt me in the exact same way without some sort of consequence and that somehow if I did not forgive this, I was the one who was not living “like a Christian”. I apparently did not understand the meaning of forgiveness. It did not matter that someone was repeatedly hurting me in exactly the same way over and over and over again. Promises to stop were broken time and time again and at each confrontation, the message was the same: “I have said I am sorry and if you do not accept it that is your problem”.

This is when it hit me that forgiveness for Christians is a free card. It allows them to do what they want to whomever they want and in the end, they ask for forgiveness from the person they hurt and God and it is done. God forgives no matter what. Then the person you hurt has a choice. If they “choose” to be fed up with what might seem like insincerity after multiple offenses, they are pitied because they are unable to forgive. The best part is, the offender actually gets to walk away feeling good about themselves and their salvation without any personal responsibility for the emotional carnage they may have left behind. That is for God and the hurt person to deal with. HOW GREAT IS THAT!!!! You can actually choose repeatedly to hurt someone you profess to love be it lies, infidelity, whatever and the wounded individual is called by GOD to forgive you immediately and you have no additional responsibility. They need not feel guilty because God has forgiven them and God asks that they forgive themselves. If the person they hurt continues to languish in pain that is their problem. They feel sorry for you but not because they have hurt you, because you can’t get over it. There is no guilt, no remorse and certainly no real motivation to change. I mean, if you screw up again, you can simply ask for forgiveness again and no matter how many times you ask, you get it.

This is when I decided that this lifestyle is not for me. It was, for a moment, somewhat appealing to me to think about how I could use this theme as well. I mean, surely that also meant that I could continue to do things I promised I would not and be easily forgiven, right? I could hurt the people around me time and again and have no real lasting consequence because I am immediately forgiven and if they can’t forgive me that is their issue to work on. How freeing is that?

Unfortunately, it also made me feel like a hypocrite. I can hear myself clearly, lecturing my two children about how they treat each other. They are constantly fighting, saying mean and nasty things to one another and every time, I am on them touting the benefits of being good to each other and if they cannot be, some clear consequences are coming from me in the form of anything from a loss of privilege to a swat on the butt. What I had signed on to teach them via Christianity was that they could go ahead and be mean to each other as long as they apologized afterwards. There was really no need to even try to change going forward as God would forgive them anyway and if their sibling could not, it is their sibling I should be lecturing because clearly they did not understand the Biblical principal of forgiveness or as I like to call it: the free card.

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