I'm Not a Good Christian....Need Help

i’m currently trying to work through a lot of issues in my life… after leaving the church at 14 and coming back at 20 (i’m now 21), the clergy and other church-goers in my small group have been less than welcoming. i’ve slowly been getting back on my feet. my church’s priest that worked with my class a lot throughout elementary and middle school said he would help me join the priesthood if i wanted, and i never realized how badly i wanted it. so for the past few weeks i’ve been talking to him a lot about classes and everything to prepare for it.

problem is, i still have issues where, when i’ve been hurt or when something pisses me off i tend to have a bad temper, and i know that. my friend’s mother who i see a lot at church took it upon herself to make a scene in front of everyone because she caught me at a bar (i was outside smoking - PS i’m trying to quit to be a better example for others). but SHE was there too or else she wouldn’t have seen me…anyway, i thought i handled it pretty well and felt more mature for not adding fuel to the fire. but a couple weeks ago i lost it in front of some important people…i was frustrated and started yelling at my priest. i recently broke a pretty bad swearing habit but it all came back, and as if raising my voice wasn’t bad enough there were plenty of F’s and GD’s. i didn’t mean what i said to him, he’s known me since i was a little kid in school, but i just completely lost it and stormed out. that was almost a month ago and i haven’t been back since. i thought of going to talk to him in private before mass, but every time i get in the car i end up going past the church…i’m afraid to talk to him, if he sees me there he might not give me the chance to apologize. i feel really bad about it and i don’t want him to think i’m the same foulmouthed, angry, immature kid i was when i left the church 6 years ago. i’ve kind of been pegged as the bad one of the group. i don’t know what to do or how to approach my church group again…but i keep screwing up and i’m afraid people will lose patience with me. worst part is that i actually asked god to help me figure things out, and yet the guilt hasn’t gone away, so does that mean he’s not ready to forgive me yet? it’s a terrible feeling but i know i screwed up so maybe i just need to accept it and accept that i’m not meant to be looked at as a christian. maybe god has other plans for me? i feel like he’s turned away from me because i turned away from him, and i’m terrified of the possibility that i actually deserve that.

Dude! You must have really went off! That’s OK! God forgives you. Your priest knows you. Go talk to him. He’s waiting for you. No need to feel as you do. Everything is just fine.

God Bless You My Brother

It’s easier than you think my friend. If you are Catholic:

Step 1: Go to confession

Step 2: Do your penance

Step 3: Receive Holy Communion

Step 3: Apologise to your priest and to others you may have hurt

Step 4: Continue to go to that parish, or find another to attend for a while. Putting yourself in a new situation where you are unknown to others can often help.

Step 5: Pray.

God Bless you my friend!

:thumbsup:

No sin is beyond God’s mercy! You’re a sinful human just like the rest of us. You lost your temper, that’s it. No big deal. Your priest and group members will forgive you (if they haven’t already). Don’t dwell on this any longer. Go receive the mercy Jesus is eagerly waiting to give you!

Don’t worry, forgiveness is kinda something we are called to as Christians. I think if you were to speak to your priest in the sincere way you laid out everything here, he would easily forgive you. All you have to do is seek forgiveness and he will understand. Good luck and God bless.

A. Heuchler

Take a breath. It takes a lot of guts to ask for help. You did the right thing by going to this forum. Remember you are human and you are young. I know what it means to have a bad temper. Trust me, it has taken me years to learn how to control it and there are just some people, I continue to have to no patience. I used to get into a great deal of trouble because of my temper.

In this case, it is important to make an appointment and ask your priest to forgive you for loosing your temper. People who truly care about you won’t stop caring. Chances are he and the group have been praying for you, and been wondering how you are doing etc. They might have also seen you drive by the church as well. After you see the priest, go to your young people’s group and ask for their forgiveness in a group setting, both things will be major steps towards reconciliation and peace. This will be a big humbling experience on both sides because hopefully they will realize that you are changing. Asking for forgiveness is not easy for anyone and people can learn a great amount about a person if they have the courage and guts to do this.

Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you are called to be perfect. People can be a royal pain in the butt, some know how to press your buttons and a few are **** as well. As you grow in your faith, you will learn how to handle your temper. I have learned over the years and there are some people that still drive me nuts. I’ve heard that some of the saints (I have no clue which ones) are said to have bad tempers. You aren’t alone with this.

God calls everyone to be his children, it’s just up to them to decide if they will respond positively to the call. You are called to be his son. Remember no matters what happens, god is always there even when you aren’t aware. Training to become a priest takes about eight years or so, and that doesn’t include the years it takes to get spiritually and emotionally ready to enter seminary. My friend had to wait two years before he finally entered seminary.

You are only 21, take your time, grow and let God into your heart even more. If you really want God into your heart, here is a prayer to help you. It is to be prayed sincerely therefore read it and pray about it before you decide to pray it. It is called the sinner’s prayer.

“Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless. I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Him from the dead. Please Jesus forgive me, for every sin I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgive me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father and my friend.
I give you my life and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Amen.

As the frustrations continue, please listen to the songs below.
They have really helped me discern and figure some stuff out.

youtube.com/watch?v=X_V6LzihxT4
youtube.com/watch?v=XSZxkPDVV0g
youtube.com/watch?v=NG2zyeVRcbs

Good luck, if you have some questions, message me, I’ll try to help you in anyway I can.

SG

If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.

Go and make amends. Everybody screws-up. It probably isn’t anything he hasn’t heard before. The fact that your conscience bothers you is a sign that you are on your way to becoming a good Christian.

BTW- While the F-bombs are not a sin, per se, the GD’s are taking the Lord’s Name in vain. A confession is probably in order.

Mate, you’ve only been back in the church for a year. Give yourself a break. You’re still a relatively new Christian, and if I were you I’d shelve the plans about becoming a priest, until you’ve got some of these other issues under control. If you do become a priest, people are going to look to you as a role model. In my protestant days, my old pastor was one of the rare few these days who was nearly always in his formal pastoral gear - grey or black shirt, dark trousers, “dog collar” etc. When somebody asked him why he was always so formally dressed, his reply was “So people know what I stand for.”

And that’s what you have to be like, if you’re going to be a priest.

f you can’t get these bad habits under control now - smoking, swearing, losing your temper, etc. - there’s no guarantee you’ll do so even after several years in a seminary. Not trying to be nasty, but Joseph Stalin was in a seminary once studying to be an Orthodox Priest. I’m not for one minute saying you’re anything like him, but I am pointing to the principle.

Nor am I saying you should not be a priest. When you start getting these other issues under contol, go for it if you think that is what God wants you to do.

I also think you need to apologise to your priest, even if you phone him to start with. That at least will break the ice, while keeping a bit of distance for the time being. Then formally go to confession. Until you do, this guilt you’re experiencing is not going to go away. It’s a reminder that you haven’t reconclied with him.

You might be also benefit by going to a different parish for a while, where you’re less well known, if that’s possible, until things cool down.

Finally all this stuff is a test of your resolve. If I were the devil, and I knew you intended to become a priest, I’d be pushing the buttons pretty hard to get you to lose your temper, go to bars etc. He knows your weaknesses, and believe me, he’ll play with them.

All the best with it. But you’ve got a bit of cleaning up to do in the short term. Sorry to be blunt, but that’s how I see it.

Grow up, swallow your pride and apologize for what you said; the priest will certainly forgive you. Better yet, call him and make an appointment for confession. Taking responsibility for your actions is part of becoming an adult, that’s how we learn and grow.

thank you everyone who responded in this forum. Without your advice it would have taken me a lot longer to confront him, which I did this morning after thinking about it last night. I sat in the parking lot for a while but I actually got the energy to just walk in and talk to him after mass. I hadn’t been that nervous since I took my SATs. It’s a lot harder to screw up (in my head I was thinking F up but caught it : ) ) in front of someone who watched you grow up instead of in front of a stranger who probably wouldn’t care. He said he understood why I was angry and it’s okay to yell and swear sometimes but if you give yourself time to think about it you’ll find better and more appropriate ways to express yourself next time. He actually complimented me on how well I can use vocabulary. I’m happy he didn’t stay mad but he said I should be concerned about some of the stuff I said…in the middle of my rant last month he stopped me to say god is watching and without thinking, I said F god… I told him I obviously didn’t mean to say it but he said there’s a reason it just came out and that i needed to think about why something like that would slip out. Up until recently I’d been unnecessarily angry with god and blamed him for a lot of my mistakes and if my priest wouldn’t have mentioned it I probably would never have realized it. I guess that’s why I’m content with accepting responsibility now because some part of me knew I hadn’t done that in the past. I was nervous this morning but now I actually find it a little amusing because I was about to leave when my priest put his hand on my shoulder and pushed me down the hall into the bible study room where some of the parents were. Sometimes I don’t like how he tries to force people to do things but I’m actually glad he did. Everyone said it was okay except 2 of them kind of dismissed me and made it clear that they don’t trust me anymore and said I don’t have a place at the church, but to be fair one of them has a 7 yr old son who witnessed my rant last month and now keeps repeating some stuff I said whenever his mother tells him to do something…okay, fine, kind of my fault. But I think maybe it shows I can influence someone’s life (positively as well as negatively). I have a little brother who’s 9 and I wouldn’t want him expressing himself that way so I guess I understand why his mom is upset. Although, his mom has never been a nice person in my experiences, and she’s devoted to church, so maybe it just means no one’s perfect.

While this was going on i was starting to realize how much I’d be giving up. i think I got the stupid stuff like binge drinking out of my system in high school, I still like to have 1 or 2 drinks (no more than that) with friends but I don’t feel like I have any need to get drunk anymore. I think that’s pretty good for a 21 yr old so im starting to give myself some credit for the good things instead of feeling unworthy over the bad things. I understand that no one expects me to be perfect but no one forgets your mistakes and I don’t want to be remembered for having bad judgment and bad habits. Not that smoking is a sin necessarily but im using the patch because I want to be seen as the kind of priest who is seen as professional and whole and doesn’t need to step outside for smoke breaks. There’s so much to catholic theology and though no one is perfect I don’t follow every rule so I need to figure out how to find balance in my life. For example up until 2 months ago I had a girlfriend who took the birth control pill and I was (obviously) happy about that, but when you represent the church you can’t go against their teachings. My girlfriend broke up with me by accusing me of cheating on her while she threw my cell phone at me, which had given me away. I admitted it to her, and it bothered me later more than it did at the time. I’m not a cheater, my dad cheated on my mom when I was 5 and even though she forgave him and they’re still married, they still carry that pain with them and I always know when I walk in a room and they have been fighting. I guess that’s why I didn’t want to ask god to forgive me until I could be fairly certain he was ready to, if that makes sense, because I wanted to prove to him that he could trust me again before I begged him for help. It’s always been hard for me to ask for help because i feel like I should be responsible for resolving my problems myself without putting my burdens on someone else. I think sometimes I don’t always think about how my actions affect others. It hurts to admit this but to be honest I didn’t even realize the extent of what I’d done until I saw the look on my girlfriend’s face, but even that was more about me than it was about her – i felt even worse when I realized it didn’t hurt as much as it probably should have because I realized I wasn’t in love with her. i don’t ever want to hurt anyone the way my dad hurt my mom. Plus there’s a lot of other things I’d need to think about because when you’re a priest you set the example for everyone who comes to your church. It’s heartbreaking because I thought I was ready now, well, I still like to think im ready now but I agree that it requires a great maturity and sense of peace and confidence that all people have to gradually grow into. I’ve been trying to convince people to see that I’m a responsible adult and not a teenager anymore…. Im just irritated that i made stupid mistakes and Ive been telling myself that god will always forgive my mistakes if I ask him to. It’s very hard to break bad habits under pressure and even harder to give up things that were fun but I’d do anything for god. Maybe god knows that, even though I have a hard time actually showing/proving it to him.

You’re doing well mate, so just keep going.

i feel like i’m on the right track…my train’s just not moving.

If you keep giving it all your effort God will move your train for you.

i’m glad i kept this site bookmarked…i was reading some other things on this site, but even though they’re inspiring i can’t get rid of this guilt and i actually have no idea where it’s coming from.

everything’s been okay at my church…some people made it very clear that they don’t approve of my being there, but not everyone feels that way, so instead of wanting to punch those *******s in the ****in head, im trying to be grateful that there are some people who think i’m a positive asset to the church, or have the potential to be. but i’m still thinking something’s wrong…i felt better about it for a while but every day for the last 2 weeks i’ve been feeling guilty again. usually i’ll know exactly why, but i can’t think of what the hell i could have done. sometimes it literally makes my chest ache. i already told my priest everything and told him i understand my mistakes and regret them, and i was kind of worried he wouldn’t believe me. when i was younger i used to lie to him a lot, particularly during confession when we had to go to church as part of religion class in school, but i only lied because i didn’t want to get in trouble with god, not because i was intentionally being deceptive or anything. i don’t lie to him anymore, and i hope he knows that. i don’t know how the hell else to prove it to him.

i obviously know i should talk to him about this, just like i would anything else, but i don’t want him or anyone else knowing how much i actually struggle with this. if it was football practice or something, i would quit…but it’s not football, and i don’t want to ‘quit’ my relationship with god. if i even have one anymore. i want to believe god still has faith in me but i don’t think i can get it into my head that he’s not still angry or disappointed at things i did…it’s not like i killed anyone, but for the most part they were things where it was obvious what the right choice was and i didn’t ****ing take it. i even thought of asking my parents but every time i try to i’m not brave enough. my dad will just tell me to get over it and my mom will probably cry…i’ve made her cry before and now that i’m older i wish i hadn’t. that’s what my problem is - i think on some levels god has already forgiven me but that doesn’t mean he has faith in me anymore. it’s like i’m so afraid to screw up that i feel guilty even though i didn’t really do anything to feel guilty about. i mean, little things, yeah, but not anything warranting this kind of guilt. like the other day my friend was showing me pictures of how bad his car got hit in a wreck last week, and i said “jesus” by accident because i was surprised at how bad the wreck looked…not usually anything i would feel bad about but as soon as i said it, my chest started hurting and i felt a kind of general guilt for the next few hours. i read on some other website that guilt goes away once you’re forgiven but regret can linger. maybe what i’m feeling is actually regret. but how the hell am i supposed to get rid of regret? where do i even start?

in other news, i met this girl (in a bar, don’t judge me) and after talking for a while she…well, she would have come back to my apartment with me if i’d asked her to (i didn’t). and i never thought i’d actually feel proud to know that i passed up an opportunity, but i kind of feel like i have more control over my life now. i don’t think god really cares if you have sex before marriage, but i do think it’s unhealthy when you do anything for the wrong reasons. so i think (hope) god would be proud to see that i’ve been gradually making changes and trying not to do things for the wrong reasons. and i’ll probably be drinking a lot less anyway from here on out. i had to work at the church last sunday morning and i know my priest could tell i’d been drinking the night before. he didn’t say anything, which was good because i am an adult and i was in no mood to get a damn lecture, but sometimes i wish he would just yell at me and get it over with…but if he feels like he can’t correct me when he knows he should, maybe it means he’s lost faith in me too. lately i don’t know what to think. i have confidence and sometimes i do feel good about where i am, but most other times i just feel like i failed, and i dont know how the hell to come back from that.

by the way, sorry for the cursing…i didn’t proofread my last post before i posted it and now it won’t let me go back and edit it.

In Training, you said,
" and i’ll probably be drinking a lot less anyway from here on out."

Sounds like this is a lot of the problem. People swear, curse, and get angry when they are under the influence.

Seek help and guidance and do not let it go on because it will turn you into someone you don’t want to be.

Just a sound thought that should be taken seriously.

nah, i’ve had that problem way before i was old enough to drink. i’ve kind of made the decision to use it only in moderation…part of that ‘don’t do anything for the wrong reasons’ thing. today is 11 days i’ve gone without smoking…if people had any idea how miserable it feels to quit, i guarantee nobody would ever start. im questioning what the point in quitting was. :mad: :takethat:

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