Christians deserving of deeper respect

By Jubilee Joyce

“Your ‘God’ doesn’t exist. Have fun praying to the air.”

“You’re so stupid for thinking that stuff is real.”

“You pray, but nothing ever changes.”

These were the words that I let discourage my faith. For the first time living my life as a Christian, the feeling of desperation completely consumed me — a desperation for something more than the life that I was living. My heart sinks with every word of discouragement, but I know that I cannot let these words take away the one thing that keeps me motivated.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Christians is that we are going to try to convert other people. Yes, we are called to lead people into a relationship with Jesus, but I do not believe in forcing people into Christianity. The idea is that you want to know Jesus enough to put everything on hold for Him, no matter how difficult it may be.

Being close to God is a choice that nobody can make for you. Yes, you can go to church every Sunday, and you can be a part of youth group, but if the life that you live does not reflect Jesus Christ, then are you really a Christian?

I am by no means a perfect Christian, and I am not better than any person. However, I do know that proclaiming that I will live my life for Jesus Christ makes people think that I am conceited, narcissistic and hypocritical. Of course Christians fall short, but so does everyone else. Judging an entire religious group because of the stereotypes set by society is wrong because very few Christians actually fit the stigma.

Being asked questions starting with the words: “If your God really is real, then why is there *insert negative occurrence here*” is something that happens too often. It should be made known that Christians are not in control of the universe. We do not decide if it rains, if it snows, if you and your significant other end your relationship or if the world splits in two.

We believe that if we give our situations to God, that we will get something good out of it in the end. Not everything will go how we want it to, but believing that God has a reason for everything that he does and trusting Him to do something in our lives is what our faith is about.

Christianity is something that you have to want to be a part of more than anything. Not having nor understanding that desire is one thing, but making assumptions about people because you disagree with their beliefs and then disrespect them is something that should not be tolerated, just as racial and sexual discrimination.

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