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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.