By Pallavi Bhattacharya
BOLLYWOOD actress Nagma made news when it was reported that she had accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. The Christian Messenger was the only periodical that spoke to her in 2008 to find out more about her salvation experience. Two years later, our reporter in Mumbai spoke to the actress again to find out how she has grown in the faith since her baptism in 2007 and how her family reacted to her new found position in Christ. Excerpts from an exclusive interview:
Since 2007 you had decided to take a break from films and continue your Bible study fervently. How has it helped you in your spiritual growth?
I do believe that the Bible is a perfect guide to live your life. It’s your best friend, teacher, help and protection. I don’t have to rely on a person to teach me. I learn through the Holy Spirit and the Bible. I get my life’s perspective through the Bible. God says that you don’t live on bread alone. You live on the Word. Once we do that, our foundation is built on solid rock.
You were teaching the Art of Living course sometime ago. Do you still do that? Do you still practice the course on your own?
No, I stopped practicing it and teaching it to others long ago. In fact, I stopped it long before my baptism.
Since your baptism in 2007, how do you think you have grown in the faith and how has your life been transformed?
I can feel the presence of God around me all the time with all my five God-gifted sense organs. I also love Him with all my heart and soul. My priority is God. I believe that I am God’s daughter. I am totally guided by the Holy Spirit and I take each day as it comes. I believe that one should first and foremost be a good human being in the eyes of God. After all, Jesus Christ didn’t come to the world to create a religion but to show us the right path to lead our lives. I feel that many Christians aren’t really Christians as they may not be leading righteous lives according to the Scriptures. Every day, I work on making myself a better person in the eyes of the Lord. I would rather be always on God’s side than be on the world’s side. For instance, I really don’t bother about what people may be saying about me. I know it’s better if God loves you despite the world being your enemy. However, if you are not in the Lord even the approval of the world will be futile.
Would you like to continue acting in films? Or do you see yourself concentrating mainly on spreading the Gospel, perhaps starting your own ministry?
I want to take each day as it comes walking with the Lord. I haven’t committed myself to anything and I haven’t made any definite future plans. I believe that God will reveal His plan to me step by step. I will take it as it comes. It’s not true that Bollywood is an evil place as people think. I have met many nice people there, too. However, through I am getting offers to act in films and plays, I am not really getting pulled towards them. I have already achieved considerable professional success anyway and I would rather spend my time in knowing my position in Jesus Christ.
Your mom is Muslim and your dad is Hindu. Have they visited your church?
I believe that every non-believer should be entitled to take his or her own time to believe. I took my own time to do so. Therefore, I shouldn’t be analyzing what my parents believe in. However, my parents are liberal and really encourage me in my spiritual journey. They are happy to see me happy in the Lord.
This interview was first published in the April 2010 edition of The Christian Messenger newspaper