Spiritual Birthdays: Should We Emphasize?

image courtesy of SEPpics via sxc.hu
Today is my spiritual birthday.

On July 31, 1995, at about 6AM, I told God, "I'm not really sure if you are real, but if you are, I invite you to come into my life and change me."

I had spent the summer reading, thinking, talking, and wrestling with the concept of Jesus. And when I prayed this weak prayer, nothing magical happened. But, this was (and still is) an important date for me.

Joanna doesn't have (or, more accurately, cannot remember) a specific date and time for her conversion experience.

I baptized Hannah in November of 2008. While, based on how the Holy Spirit was obviously working in her heart, we are sure that she is a believer in Jesus, we cannot pinpoint exactly when she was spiritually regenerated.

Joanna and I do not feel like we should emphasize and need to know exactly when and where our children start following Jesus. However, Pastor Tullian believes there must be a specific moment when God decisively gives new life.

But maybe we're wrong.

What do you think? Should Christians emphasize knowing when they became followers of Jesus? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

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  1. I think it depends. If the Spirit is clearly working in her life for a long enough period of time (left to your discernment) then an exact date isn't necessary.

    I don't remember the date, but rather that I was in my parents kitchen, that I was about age 5 or 6 and the sun was shining through the back windows (meaning it was evening) and I'm pretty sure it was summertime. I personally see symbolism in the sun shining, the warmth, etc. and recognize that as my conversion.

    That said, I feel like I'm a prodigal son of sorts. I caught the "try to be popular" fever of the public school kids, and made some bad decisions, particularly in college.

    During my senior year I recommitted, though somewhat halfheartedly and as I grew older I realized just how little I really know about life, God, salvation, etc.

    I chose a wife for the wrong reasons, and we had children together. I didn't properly assess her character, and she left in less than 3 years (for another guy who she lives with still). I kept the children. That was another turning point for me.

    I'm married again, this time for the right reasons, and we'll really trying to follow God. Following God is such a struggle...I guess that's part of being in this fallen world, eh?

  2. I guess I really got to rambling there...I think my final answer is "It depends, I think..."

  3. Thanks for sharing your story. Yeah, I don't think there is a simple answer for this one. "It depends" is a great answer, along with "Maybe or maybe not."

  4. anonymous, i love your response! like joey said, thank you for sharing.

    and joey, i'm like joanna. i cannot pinpoint the date. while i may not have always lived like i believed, i cannot remember a time in my life when i didn't know Him. but if i had one of those moments - a clear date/time/instance when i came to know the Lord, i would certainly celebrate its anniversary (even if just in a private little way...with cake).

  5. When I prayed that prayer at 6AM, it was after a 5AM workout. I was in the shower, so I like to think I was baptized immediately.

    I used to celebrate not with cake, but with doing an early morning workout on July 31. But I'm too old for that now.

  6. Absolutely! We gotta be training daily to be disciples of Christ!