My biggest fear isn’t of speaking in public.
My biggest fear isn’t even of something happening to my children.
My biggest fear is of being a secret Christian.
Am I living my life in a way that my faith is a surprise to those who learn I am a Christian?
Every Sunday, I go to church. I sing out during worship, profess my gratitude and shout “Amen!” and nod my head in agreement with the pastor as he speaks the truth. But what happens between Sundays? Do I live my life in a way that makes me an unmistakable Christian? Or do people seem surprised to find out that I am one?
I worked as a waitress during one summer in college. Many of the waitresses around me used crass language, flirted with the businessmen whom they served, and wore their uniforms in the most revealing way possible to get more tips. I felt so out of place as the girl who went to Christian college and couldn’t make a dirty joke if I tried.
One day, a girl pulled me aside, out of ear shot of everyone else and said, “I have to ask you something because it has been on my mind. Are you a Christian?”
Stunned, I smiled and said, “Yes, I absolutely am.”
She then smiled back and said, “I thought so. I could tell.”
That exchange has stayed with me ever since. It stays with me when I look at different areas of my life like:
My Choice in Books, Movies, and Television
When I share with others what I am reading or watching, would they know I am a Christian? If that was the only thing they knew about me, would it be obvious, or would I send mixed signals that would confuse them?
How I Speak about Others
When you speak about others, do you choose to use words and stories that would respect them? Are you careful to keep things said in private a secret, or do you spill it to everyone around you?
When I talk, do I use clean language that Christ would use? Does my language change with the groups I hang out with? I struggled with this a lot when I was in the professional world. It is so easy to succumb to the pressure of wanting to fit in, and the people around me swore on a daily basis. One day, I swore because I thought it would make me seem more like them. They all looked surprised and even made comments about how the Christian girl was finally “loosening up.” I didn’t feel looser at all. I felt like I had lost my witness, and it still bothers me.
If people were to ask you who you are, what would you say? I have made a habit of including a tag at the end of my emails that says, “Child of God, Wife to an Incredible Man, and Mother of 2.” Those are my priorities in order. I have many other great things to share about how I am a blogger, dedicated Amazon Prime member, and professional Starbucks drinker, but I feel it is so important for others to know the three most important parts of my identity first.
My Money and “Stuff”
What are my priorities with money? While it is fun to spend on cute décor for the house, am I making sure to give dangerously to others with my money? Am I willing to sacrifice personal wants for the needs of others? This is a struggle for many and a very touchy topic, but I would be remiss to avoid it. I know many people who give dangerously, but I also know some who appear to be more about the stuff than about serving God with their money. I do not want to appear that way, and it is sometimes a struggle when there is something I desperately want. I wish I could say I always make the right choice!
The Christian faith is not an easy calling. The world is watching us closely and ready to pounce whenever we make a mistake – and we will make mistakes. We are not meant to be perfect. Only God can ever be that. However, we should be striving each day to walk more closely with the Lord than the previous day.
Let us learn from our mistakes and strive to reflect Christ in how we live.
I pray that you will find a way to declare loudly and boldly that God is your number one priority and your faith is important to you. Then perhaps it won’t be a surprise someday for someone to hear that you are a Christian.
Welcome to Ungrind!
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Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
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