It’s been almost seventeen years since Jesus interrupted my selfish little existence and woke me up from sleeping death. Seventeen years since my eyes were opened to the meaning of life, to the beauty of Jesus, to the pleasure of knowing and being known by God.

As I look back on my earliest years walking with Jesus, I feel so much gratitude and joy. I also wish I could go back and talk to younger me and steer him away from so many misunderstandings about God, life, and himself. I’m sure that seventeen years from now I’ll have much to say about what I’m currently missing. But for now, here are five lessons I wish I would have known as a younger Christian that might help you in your walk with Christ.

1. The Lord loves baby steps.

For my first four years as a Christian, I waged a seemingly useless war against addiction to pornography. I danced the moral two-step toward God. With every step toward Jesus, it seemed, I took one step back toward lust and darkness. How frustrating it was as a new believer to finally be eager to do good for the Lord — to finally put away pornography — only to find with the apostle Paul that “I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Romans 7:18). I was sure that God would only love the post-porn version of me. I was wrong.

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