I was talking to my work twin recently about a friend of hers whose religious beliefs are different than my work twin. Something that she said about her friend really challenged me as a Christian. This person stated that her friend was “devout” in her practice of her religion. While she was in awe of this practice I became ashamed at how I knew we both practiced our beliefs. More importantly I was ashamed of my own practice.
Oh I absolutely believe that Jesus Christ is the resurrected Son of God who died for my sins. I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. The problem is how I practice and how I allow others to make me feel like I need to modify my beliefs even though they have not attempted to modify theirs (and probably have no plans to do so either). The problem is that I feel pressured to practice my belief like it is an accessory rather than as if it is a part of my life.
We live in an age where being a Christian is challenged by those who do not believe in anything outside of themselves more successfully every day. We are made to feel guilty for the misinterpretations and misrepresentations of scriptures of one person for all of those who are professed Christians. Only the negative is looked at to point out the problems rather than to learn a lesson. Positive aspects of my faith are looked at to point out how well I and others who believe are NOT doing.
The funny thing is that our faith is being measured by a culture of people who apparently don’t understand that we know that we are not perfect but we serve a Perfect God. We are growing in grace every day. And if they took a moment to really look at the person as a continuous story rather than one moment in time they would notice that there is some progression in growth just like them.
I cannot take my faith on and off. It is a part of who I am. I try my best not to practice only the good parts but the parts that challenge me to be better and more thoughtful. I try to live a life that is pleasing to God and not man. I choose not to participate with the “trolls” who’s only purpose is to get me into a heated debate about something that it seems they think is just an accessory for me. I’ll take a page from Jesus on this one and choose to say nothing.
Just another day’s journey of accepting that my faith is not an accessory. Peace.