For several months I’ve been struggling with how others view my faith. I didn’t fully realize it until recently, but I think my fear lies in the belief ~ the knowledge ~ that it scares some people away. They don’t understand it and so they fear it. I’ll meet someone I’d like to get close to and, if I don’t see that they have a faith system, I unknowingly hide mine, revealing only the slightest glimpses if it feels ‘safe’. But why?? I’m not ashamed of it…am I? Well, I guess in all honesty, I am afraid of being rejected because of it. Afraid of losing something because they don’t see, agree or respect my passion for it. What?? That’s stupid. That makes me no different than the many characters in the bible who denyed their faith (read about Judas and Peter in Matthew 26). I think standing up for our faith is something He calls us to do. It’s what He meant about loving our neighbors and being equally yolked to someone…but that’s another blog.
For those who have an understanding of their faith, or an acceptance of faith in general, it doesn’t bother them; more often they are inspired by it. It’s those that don’t have a similar grasp on their spiritual side that bother me. It’s like being the new kid at school, feeling all the examining and assessing eyes as you clumsily walk into the new, unfamiliar surroundings. You just want to be liked: accepted. Do they think I’m strange? Do they think I’m a bible thumper? I’d like to say I’m not but what’s the definition? Cuz if posting bible verses is considered bible thumping, then yeah, I guess I am. I’m not versed enough to quote like some people, but yes, i do feel that many of our answers are contained within the pages of the bible and I will refer to the ones I know but I’m not in people’s faces with it, I’m in my own face, reminding myself what life is all about: not just you, not just me, but progress as a people bound by love.
I don’t have all the answers and I’m not perfect. Let me say that again: I’m not perfect. I still cuss, I still make mistakes and bad decisions but I know what my faith has done for me and I’m not willing to sacrifice that for anyone, and I’m more than willing to share. I’ve come to realize that I either need someone who is willing to lead me or walk with me; I can’t have someone dragging me down no matter how bad I want that relationship to work. No one should. It’s just not meant to be. I know what I feel and what I have experienced. I will not turn my back on it even if I can’t explain it. After all, faith is believing in what we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1) I don’t want someone pushing me to justify my beliefs, and equally, I do not want to push anyone to believe in mine. There are sooooo many interpretations of the bible. I just hope that others give God a chance…that’s all. A simple answer to the knock at the door is all that is required.
So, feeling unaccepted is normal but we cannot succomb to that fear of rejection. We must stand firm in who we are and who we strive to be. It is simply our duty to stand up and proclaim the good things He has done. Stand strong in our resolve. And when I do, I don’t expect you to sit down and consume it all – watch me, examine my life and see how my faith impacts me. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. I have the scars. I have been and still am broken at times. I fall but I get back up. It’s a process. I pray that God uses me to show others how He wants to work in our lives. I give Him everything, no matter how scary that is because I trust Him. Positivity is a choice. I chose to open the door and I let Him in. If you are curious about even an ounce of what I’ve got, maybe you’ll consider answering, too. He has done and is doing a work in me like no one ever has, or ever will. I’m seeing love as it should be: pure, true, unconditional, relentless. Sometimes it hurts like hell, but just like childbirth, I would do it all again.
Face it. Rejection hurts, so what do we think God feels when we reject Him? Are we just going to throw up our hands or go hide in the corner? Well, I need God in my corner. With Him anything is possible. He is not human flesh like you and I. He doesn’t battle with sin like you and I. He is the Creator, the Healer, the Redeemer, the Almighty, Alpha/Omega, the Everything. Now that God has revealed this to me, it’s time to take action. No greater love have I ever known than the love and grace I continue to receive from Jesus…how can I deny Him? When I cry, I go into His arms. I need not say a word because He knows me. Yet He longs for a relationship with me so I will continue on my walk with Him no matter how scary it gets. There is no prize for the fighter who doesn’t fight. God does not want me to be ashamed. I will not throw away my confidence or give away my strength because of fear. He wants me to stand strong and share all I’ve learned. And it’s not so much a matter of sharing the word, but sharing through how I live and how I chose to be. Positive. Inspiring. Motivated. I didn’t become like this. This is who I have always been but I’ve let people bring me down. I know what I want and I’m not settling for less. You call it chance, you call it luck…I call it blessed, I call him Lord.
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” ~ Hebrews 10:32-35
“But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 10:33
“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” ~ Jeremiah 17:10
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~ 1 John 4:1
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” ~ Romans 3:23
“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” ~ Hebrews 10:26-27