October 26, 2019
Helping with a high school retreat this week brought to mind a conversation I had a few years back with a student on the Christian Awakening retreat:
I gave a retreat talk to a group of senior students. When I was speaking with a student afterwards, she said, “I wish I could do what you just did.”
When I asked her what she meant, she said, “You talk so easily about God and your faith. I wish I could do that.”
I asked her why she couldn’t do that. Her response was one I’ve heard many times: “I guess I’m afraid. I don’t want people to think I’m a religious freak.”
I encouraged her to talk about what excites her, and let people think what they will.
This young lady is not alone. Many people share her fear. They feel that publicly expressing their beliefs or sharing their faith will cause them to be negatively judged by others.
I find it fascinating. When people talk about their jobs, or sports, or fashion, I don’t negatively judge them as career freaks, or sports or fashion freaks. Why is faith different?
I suppose she was right – speaking about her faith may cause some to label her a religious freak. However, that is a small price to pay.
If sharing your faith brings light to just one person “walking in darkness”, it is worth it. If it brings hope to just one person living in a “land of gloom”, it is worth it. If it brings “abundant joy” to just one person, it is worth it. If it gives just one person the courage to do the same, it is worth it.