Time to Stop With the Excuses?

     I struggled with baptism. For six months I held off getting baptized. I had grown up knowing only of babies being sprinkled as baptism. The idea of a person my age getting fully immersed as a metaphor of what Jesus did for us was foreign to me. The first time I heard about it, I thought it was weird.
     Even after I started reading the Bible and seeing baptism being practiced as an immersion for adults, or people old enough to request it, even then it was a struggle. After actually reading the Bible, it became obvious to me what baptism was for early Christians. There was no doubt that every time someone was baptized that they went completely under the water. And that made sense because the Bible says that baptism is supposed to picture Jesus’ resurrection (Romans 6:4-6). I knew that sprinkling didn’t remotely symbolize a resurrection. And it also became apparent to me that every person baptized in the Bible was old enough to express their own faith in Jesus, that they believed before they were baptized (Acts 2:41). I began to look to find any instances of a baby being baptized in the Bible, and I couldn’t find even one (there aren’t any).
     So while I became convinced that baptism was an immersion in water for those old enough to express faith in Jesus, I still struggled with getting baptized myself. I didn’t want to acknowledge that there was anything wrong with what I had believed before. I also felt like getting baptized would be tantamount to turning my back on my whole religious upbringing. And I didn’t want to hurt my parents’ feelings. So I just kept putting it off.
     But Bible verses kept nagging at me. Verses such as “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ…” (Acts 2:38). And Jesus’ words, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). I finally gave in and decided to stop with the excuses and just do what Jesus told me to do.
     Still being concerned about my parents, I went to my dad to explain (my mom was not in touch with me). I said something like, “Dad, I really appreciate what you did for me as a baby. But as I’ve been reading the Bible, I’ve come to realize that being baptized is a decision I have to make for myself. I’d love for you to come and share the experience with me.”
     Guess what? My dad wound up getting baptized at the same time that I did! One of the great thrills of my life! And I stepped out of the baptistry that day with a very different outlook on everything in my life. I was so glad that I stopped making excuses and simply followed through on what I knew I should do. It was my first real step in letting Jesus take over and myself surrendering to do what he says. And that has changed my life.
     Have you obeyed him in this one little area? Or are you still making excuses?

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