Baptism is a cleansing. It is a purification. It is the shedding of the old in favor of the new and renewed. It is a promise, a sacred covenant that the old sinful spirit you once had will no longer dictate your present or shape your future. It is a commitment to be the better person you know you can be and deserve to be. It is also a promise that you will shed the old fears and anxieties and be more trusting in the God that brought you life and strength. It is a rejection of fear and loneliness and negativity and a gesture of submission and openness to God’s care.
When I was baptized, it was my statement to God that I would dedicate myself to being a sincere and honest person– an authentic person. It was my statement to God that I offer my gifts and talents and who I am to His guidance and His work. It was a gesture of thanks to God who has given me everything– I return to Him to offer myself to Him in the sense that I give back to Him for the benefit of others.
I felt baptism was in some ways a resurrection. Parts of me had to die so that a better, more renewed, more honest and sincere person could come to life. I felt my soul and not just my outward appearance or body needed a change or a cleansing and renewing.
I felt baptism was my standing up and taking a stand for the cause of peace, compassion, justice, kindness, morality. equality, and advocacy. It was not about being a self-righteous zealot or some person who would put themselves on a pedestal or pulpit and judge and condemn and play at being a martyr. I didn’t do it for attention or the approval of peers and friends and church members. I did it for God and for myself. I did to show God my investment in His guidance and my investment in making the best of the gifts He has given me.
Baptism is a sacred renewal of a connection only you and God can have. It is a personal renewal and a personal promise. Baptism is a commitment to a higher calling– not to be a priest, but rather a better human being, and a follower of peace, compassion, kindness, generosity, and love. By following the lead of Christ, you may lead others to follow… you may be a positive mentor or role model for others… you may change people’s lives as much as your own. But always remember that you follow Christ when you take on baptism. Remember Christ is the example set before you. Christ sets the moral compass.
I always felt called to help others and baptism was my way of telling God I am ready to help, ready to stand up for good causes and for those in need of me.
If you choose the Christian path and take the commitment of baptism, you honor God and honor Christ.
Of course, there are other ways to honor God and many paths to doing kind acts, being loving, being compassionate, and being an advocate for justice and peace. You are free to explore your own path. For me, baptism was a big step in finding that path that works for me.