The Life of a Christian: Before and After

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Look at the two pictures above…Can you tell which one took place before I got my sisterlocks “retightening” and which one took place after I got my sisterlocks “retightening?”  If you are like most people, then you certainly cannot tell from the angle in which I took these photos.  Yet, I know very well that one of these pictures took place before, while another one took place afterwards.

You see, grooming for sisterlocks is different from most other hairstyles.  While most other hairstyles require a complete transformation, sisterlocks requires that the grooming take place at the roots.  With an intricate tool, the hair undergoes a clockwise tuck-and-pull motion that causes the locks to lock securely to the scalp.  The implementation of this technique is called a “retightening.”

I woke up this morning, very much aware of my retightening.  The pulling of the hair brings a rather welcomed, yet slightly noticeable level of tension to the scalp.  As I thought about this, I realized that while I am very well aware of the fact that I got my sisterlocks retightened, I realized that most people wouldn’t be because they either don’t pay close enough attention to my hair, or don’t know enough about sisterlocks to tell the difference anyway.

As Christian women, I believe that sometimes we live our lives the same way as my before and after “sisterlocks” retightening.  While we claim to be members of Christ and followers of Jesus, sometimes the outside world cannot tell the difference between whom we were before Christ and who we are after meeting Him.  Both we, and the people observing us, don’t pay close enough attention to what it means to be a Believer, or don’t know much about the differences between a Believer and a non-Believer anyway.  The problem then, however, is that as Believers, the burden lies on us to set the example and be a source of information.  1 Corinthians 13:11 holds us accountable for our responsibility to change our image as children of God.  It informs us that When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Before becoming a Christian, represents the element of being a child in this regard.  You spoke like a non-Christian, you thought like a non-Christian, and you reasoned like a non-Christian.  But when you became an adult (and in this case a Christian) you were supposed to put away childish/non-Christian things.  Yet, how many of us really take the time to put away our pre-Christian habits that we had before becoming Christian?  Do we really change our lives, or just our religious affiliation?

Change is hard.  Change regarding religion and spirituality is harder.  God doesn’t ask us to be perfect, but he does ask us to follow Him.  It’s one thing not to do better because you don’t know any better.  It’s another thing not to do better because you just don’t care.

As Christian women, we should constantly be trying to grow in God’s image.  We are not expected to be Christ, but we are expected to be Christ-like.  Hence, we are supposed to take a conscientious effort in learning His word.  This can be done by whatever works for you, but I do encourage finding a network of people to assist you along the way.  The act of being Christ-like is as important, if not more so, than simply proposing that you are giving your life to Christ.  God would much rather you do it, then just say/proclaim to do it.  Hence the next time you look in the mirror, ask yourself, do you see your before or after Christ Image looking back at you?

Blessings on your Sacred Journey,

~Connie

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