I don’t speak often of my relationship with God. There are several reasons. Some I could blame on my environment. But mostly it’s fear. Fear of others thinking I’m judging them. That I don’t accept them if they believe differently. Fear they will think back through what they’ve said or done and feel the need to apologize.
But I think that fear is mostly fear of being judged myself. Fear that people will expect me to be a certain way because I am a Christian. Fear of them being disappointed when I am not. Fear that they assign certain beliefs to me that I don’t hold. But also fear that I am not properly representing Jesus. That’s such a huge responsibility. That I often fail at.
I much rather people get to know me and then discover I’m a Christian. I feel like that allows them to learn who I am without stereotyping me beforehand. But is that right? Does that make my life more about me than about Jesus? I’m not sure.
But even when I am in a Christian environment, I am still scared of sharing about my relationship with Jesus. This is also because of fear. But fear that I am not sharing correctly. I was raised in an interesting environment. I grew up on a Baptist Seminary campus, where people went to school to learn to be ministers. It was a wonderful childhood. But as I became an adult, I was surrounded by people who were learning about the Bible and Jesus academically. There were correct words to use when speaking about God and there were definitely incorrect words as well. So I became quiet, for fear of speaking incorrectly and embarrassing myself.
All of this makes it seem like I am not confident in my relationship with God. But the truth is, I am very confident in my relationship with God. I have not always been, but I have come to a place where I know God loves me. And I love Him. And I am so far from who I need to be, but that’s okay. Cause God is helping me get there. And when I fail, and I do fail, God will forgive me. And we’ll get back up and try again.
So I don’t feel like I should have this fear. I don’t feel like it adequately represents how I really feel about my relationship with God. I need to remember that. When I fear being judged, from Christians or not, I need to remember the truth of my relationship with God. That it is solid and genuine. That it’s full of trust – trust that I should extend to others. Trust that they will not judge me for what they might have experienced with Christians in the past. And on the other side, trust that they will not judge me for not having all of the right Christian words. Trust that they will see the love of God in me and that will overshadow all of those things.