Do You Love Me More Than These?
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
"Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" (John 21:15)
I am a 16-year-old teen and a 2-year-old Christian. I don't have many stories to share that tell of how smooth, loving and close my relationship with God has been, because truthfully speaking, it was not.
My journey with God started on 16th October, in 2016, when I got baptised and became a member of the Central Christian Church. I was a 14-year-old teen, still in Secondary 2. Having just finished my bible studies with my mentor, I was beyond eager to get baptised and start my journey to grow closer than ever to God. I was full of conviction and so, so sure that I was going to stay faithful to Jesus all my life, steer clear of sin, and meet him in heaven one day. But it was of course way easier said than done.
In my first year after getting baptised, I began to lose my conviction and love for God. I started to give in to temptations, and I slowly fell in love with the world and the things it offered me. I started getting involved in gossiping in school (hard not to when all your schoolmates are girls!), allowing myself to tell white lies too often (especially often since I was always in need of new excuses for being late to school), but mostly, prioritising my studies before anything else. As my desire to do well in school got stronger, so did my pride every time I did well for an examination. I began to put my security in my studies, and spent most of my time improving myself in school, to ensure I never flunked a test, or dropped a grade.
I was fully aware that I had been improving tremendously, and I started to develop the impression that I was better, and smarter than everyone else. Little did I know, this mentality I had was doing great damage to my life. The more time I invested in my studies, the less I had for my family, friends, and for God. The pride I had in me began to affect my relationship with my mother especially. Our quarrels would often end with her walking away after I refused to apologise for things that were clearly my fault. I was so blinded by my arrogance that I could not even admit to my mistakes. This too, of course, affected my relationship with God. I refused to turn to Him when I faced problems, stopped praying completely, and didn't touch my Bible for months. I depended on myself and myself only – can you believe I thought I was stronger than God Himself?
But today, I am happy and relieved to say that despite all of my sins against Him, and all the relationships I had messed up, God granted me a second chance as I slowly but surely reconciled with my mother and my friends. I was finally aware of the deceitful, sinful and unbelievably arrogant way of life of mine. Out of all the times I spent praying to God and seeking Him in the verses I read daily, I remember specifically, John 21:15 – where Jesus asks Simon, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?"
When I read this verse, it really made me reflect on my priorities and how much importance I had placed on the things in my life. How could I have loved my studies more than my family? How could I have loved myself more than I loved God? Why had I loved these things more than God?
After all my experiences in the past year of being a Christian, I finally see the importance of having God in my life. It may sound rather abstract, but what I mean is simply remembering how much God loves me, and not forgetting to reciprocate this love. Reading John 21:15 helps me remember the time I first got baptised, and to keep in mind that the reason why I chose to be baptised was because of God's unconditional and unfailing love that convicted me.
As attractive as the world is, remember to ask yourself from time to time, do you love God more than earthly things?
Elizabeth Wee (Teen Ministry)
Elizabeth is the second daughter of Edmund and Dominique. Both Edmund and Dominique have been disciples for more than 20 years. Edmund served in the Management Committee of the church. Elizabeth is a confident young lady. She loves animals and enjoys spending time with them. She will be doing her "O" levels this year.