Growing up Nazarene in the 1980’s and 1990’s, I became very bored of the idea that I needed only to be instantly redeemed from sin. In fact, I had been lead to believe that to be angry was to sin. I’d go to the altar to be cleansed of the negative thoughts, only to realize that the euphoria was temporary. Rarely was discipleship every brought up as a life ling growth process. I can recall being bored out of my mind as a 20-year-old in church merely because I literally thought that my role there from then, on, was to be constantly euphoric for my salvation.
I now attend a Wesleyan church with my wife, and am exploring the prophetic and prayer components of the Holiness tradition through the eyes of the International House of Prayer, along with my wife, Denise.
Euphoric episodes are not a good way to evangelize to someone with extreme mental highs and lows. Bipolar mood swings can bring someone down within hours of an altar call.
The effects of a mood swing? I would think that I had apparently slipped into a bad mood, and that God would require another euphoric altar call experience out of me.
As Christians we can do better than to emphasize the crisis moment of conversion. I will acknowledge that the crisis moments of the nineteenth century camp meeting are credited to showing the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing conviction. Yet, if the Holiness tradition is to survive, it must be emphasized that Christian conversion is a lifeling process.
I just completed an education degree from MidAmerica Nazarene University which has informed the way that I see Christian discipleship. I have found it absolutely essential to understand that personal growth cannot happen in a vacuum. Rather, transformation of a person is a lifelong process.
One major component of my studies in education involved what is known as a “growth mindset.” The growth mindset is the process of looking for guidance as to where God is working to grow the person from one’s strengths every day that s/he is alive.
You may take interest in reading an entry I wrote in 2012 in my blog: https://singsilence.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/am-i-the-prodigal-sons-brother/ .