I spend too much time worrying about this one simple question:
Am I fitting in?
Or rather, make it multiple questions.
Do they like me?
Am I weird?
God won't mind if I have a little fun now and then, right?
This is something that I personally struggle with. All the time. It's a difficult topic to address, but I'm going to try, because we all need to know that we're not alone in it. And I know that I'm not the only one.
When you start out, you're not afraid. You set out into the world to make a difference. To shine brighter than the sun. And they might give you funny looks, but who cares, right? God's happy with you. It doesn't matter what the people think.
Until it does.
Until that day when you get the millionth funny look and say, "Why am I even doing this?" And you evaluate yourself in the mirror and whisper, "It's not worth it. It'll be okay. I don't have to do anything."
Then you embrace the world and live lukewarm. You pray and read in the mornings, sure, but it's not the same. And you're no different from your friends who aren't Christian during the day.
I don't know where you are in your walk with God right now. Maybe this describes you; maybe it doesn't. I know that a lot of the time, it describes me. I desperately want to live my life for God, but I choose not to. I walk away and don't even care most of the time.
This is the time for us to stand up, fellow Christians. This is the time when we say no to the things that we know are wrong. The time when we reach out to the girl at work who's desperate and happy-go-lucky. The time for us to clarify where we stand on the issues and go out and vote at the elections.
Live like you're a Christian. Don't be afraid of the dirty looks. When you have an opportunity to stand up for your faith as your co-workers talk about [insert current blockbuster film that you're not seeing for moral reasons here], do it. When someone asks you why you're so weird, tell them about Jesus. When you've got the choice between going to church and going to something else on Sunday morning - opt for church.
It's not easy to be a Christian. It's making the same choice over and over and over - to live for Christ.
But that's why we are Christians, after all. The word was originally an insult meaning "little Christ".
Are you proud of being insulted as "little Christ?"
Let's go. Let's live out our faith.