The world of Christians is an interesting one. I’m sure other religions face many of the same issues. If a Christian is “too spiritual” by the non-Christian world, they are usually considered too conservative by other Christians. If the rest of the world thinks a Christian is a nutcase, then other Christians usually say they’re too forceful.And if a Christian never says anything, the rest of the world and other Christians consider them to be hypocrites.
Here’s the deal, though…and we seem to have forgotten this. To a certain extent, we (Christians) can fit in with the rest of the world. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you have to pull a “John the Baptist” and scream at people while biting off a locust’s head. You don’t have to be a freak in that sense; it’s not in the manual. But in reality, we are freaks. We’re living under different laws than the rest of the world; we’re serving a different master. To any skeptics or critics reading this, let me save you some time. No, I am not saying Christians are better than other people, I am not saying we don’t have to obey earthly laws or that we’re above them. That’s my little disclaimer haha.
My point is, Jesus never said everyone has to stand up on a soap box and yell at people to repent. But guys, the fact is that there will come a point when you will have to make a public decision, take a public stand, and most likely face some sort of persecution. To a point we are a part of the world and do the same things. I listen to my iPod, read, and eat pizza, not to mention my coffee addiction and obsession with office supplies. But there are times, aside from the way I live my life every day, when I have to say outright that I am a Christian, I stand for Christ, I belong to Him, and I serve Him alone. I made a decision once to follow Him always and to live for Him, and that’s what I do. That’s my number one goal in life. Of course I fail at it sometimes, but you know, to really fail at something is harder than succeeding, because to fail you have to fail every single day, all day. The point of my life is to serve Christ, always.
Maybe you’re a Christian living entirely surrounded by Christians and never have contact with non-Christians. If you are, you should get out more and read Mark 16:15-19. But if you’re not, you’ve most likely already faced some kind of persecution. It doesn’t always come in the form of an angry mob with pitchforks, although that happens. It’s more like people being irritated with you for no apparent reason, losing friends because you’re a Christian, or people thinking you’re some kind of stuck-up religious freak.
Well…drum roll…we are religious freaks. Actually, we’re just freaks. Whether you’re dressed in camel hair and eating insects or a normal, down to earth college kid, the very fact that you have chosen to follow Christ makes you, in this world, a freak. You believe in someone you can’t see or hear every day, someone who had crazy ideas and told people to make other people believe these ideas, someone who stirred up so much trouble that he got himself killed and encouraged other people to live how he’d lived. But you know that He’s real. You know that He loves you. You know that He rose again from the grave after defeating sin and death. You know that He is the creator of the universe, the One who knit you together in your mother’s womb and knew all of your thoughts and comings and goings before you were born, the One who knows every day of your life and who is crazy about you.
So hang in there. Yes, it’s tough, but God knows. Yes, it’s hard when people hate on you and turn on you, but God knows. When you first met Jesus…that day, or maybe night, that you first saw His face and saw His love for you…that day that you made the choice to abandon everything else and follow Him, He made a covenant with you, and He is always there. Even the night is not night to Him, and when He comes, darkness itself trembles at His voice. He will bless you for your faithfulness and for the commitment you made to Him.
We are new creations, saved and made new by Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, defeated death and sin and the grave, and rose again three days later, victorious and majestic. Don’t lose hope.