6 Challenges Presented by Early Salvation

When I was three, I fell under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and submitted my life to Christ’s Lordship. Getting saved early in life has been a blessing, but it has also presented some challenges. Although such early salvation tends to raise suspicions from other Christians, I can say, without a doubt, I have experienced the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.

Below is a list addressing some of these challenges. For those of you who were saved as a child, see if you can relate.

  1.  Understanding God’s love. It took me quite a while to understand God’s love for me. Having grown up in a religious setting, I had to fight against familiarity breeding contempt. In other words, I had to fight to discover and understand God’s love.
  2. Understanding the darkness of my sin. Getting saved at three guarded me from seeing the full extent of my sin. There were times when I needed to be humbled and reminded that any good in me is not a product of my self-control, but the power of the Holy Spirit within me.
  3. Understanding God’s hatred for sin. Building off the first item on this list, always hearing about God’s distaste for sin after I was saved at such a young age often made me think of Him simply as a man angry at misbehavior. I struggled to understand just how deep of an offense to God’s holy character sin is and how much grace He has extended to us through the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
  4. Understanding grace. I am still learning principles of grace and how God’s gift balances with obedience. Nonetheless, I am thankful for all of the unconditional favor God has placed on my life. I am truly indebted to Him.
  5. Understanding joy that is found in Him and nothing/no one else. God is the true source of joy. I am still learning how to find meaningful satisfaction and delight in His presence.
  6. Understanding doubt is a call to thinking, not panicking. It’s natural to question belief systems, especially when you grow up believing one worldview your entire life. Doubt is a call to critical thinking. We shouldn’t worry when we encounter it, so long as the doubts are addressed with the Bible rather than with cultural rhetoric.

Getting saved early presents many unique challenges. If you’ve had any distinctive experiences from being saved at a young age and would like to add to the discussion, feel free to comment below.



2 thoughts on “6 Challenges Presented by Early Salvation”

  1. Stephen,

    Great reflection! These challenges you present reflect the necessity of discipleship. Particularly for children, so that we “… all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Gal 4:13).”

    Some challenges that were manifest in my early years as a believer include:

    1. Translating my faith in to meaningful practice. As a child it’s hard, the more mature concept of “mission” we develop as a child seems out of reach. Collecting quarters for Sunday school offerings, inviting school friends to church, and singing “Jesus Loves Me” (while meaningful then) did little to teach me to live my faith actively into adulthood. As so, I still struggle to know how to tension childlike faith and meaningful missionary practice.

    2. Connecting my personal faith to God’s greater redemption. Overcoming the “me-centered” temptations of “my personal relationship with Christ” seems to be residual of childhood salvation. Moving from having Jesus in my heart as a child, to seeing Him as the sovereign king of the universe who is working mightily pursuing His purposes and forging His will in this world, seems like an ever-expanding journey as an Adult. It still seems difficult to graduate (daily) to a global and kingdom emphatic faith.

    3. Embracing the fullness of confession as a means . The stunting effect of 12+ years of praying quietly to Jesus to “forgive me for everything wrong” has robbed me of knowing the robust and transformative power of confession. Similar to your struggle in adulthood to understanding the darkness/God’s hatred of our sin, confession of my sin to God and to others, for me, fails sometimes to appeal immediately as a viable and necessary practice of my Christian faith and pursuit of holiness.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s