Identity

Why so prejudiced against Christians?

imagesCAAUGX5RI’m always shocked how quickly and completely people pre-judge me simply because I profess my belief and faith in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. After they know that about me, it’s like they deem me unworthy of getting to know. Suddenly, I have no opinions other than what’s popularly known, assumed or guessimated about the Bible. I have no sense of humor. I have no aspirations other than the second coming of the Lord. I’m one-dimensional. I’m unfair. A religious nut. A fanatic. A homophobe. Perhaps a racist or classist. Certainly superior. Irrational. Unintelligent. Unable to think for myself.  A know-it-all with a straight line to God. Misguided. Simple-minded. A target. Object of pity. Innocent. Naïve. Someone to take advantage of because forgiveness is a way of life. A non-sinner. Incapable of understanding struggle. Unacquainted with sin or sinful thoughts. A paragon at avoiding temptation. Self-righteous and overly ripe. I’m sure the list of assumptions and judgments continue endlessly, but these are some I’ve been confronted with.

Recently, I had a Facebook exchange with someone who just assumed I was in opposition to something that she supported simply because of my “religion”. This was our first exchange on the topic and her only comment to me about it. The first time I met her is the last time I saw her, about five years ago at an event. In the same comment she mentioned an appreciation of our “friendship”.

imagesCA4G8RUZThat’s the second thing that hit me after being pre-judged based on my faith life: What friendship? Friends communicate with one another. They take the time to get to know each other. Friendships are long-term relationships that grow DESPITE what we learn about the other person. A friend doesn’t learn one thing about their “friend” and stop learning. Stop speaking. Stop sharing. Stop growing and exploring the relationship. In other words, friendships are not based on pre-judgments. Friendships are based on openness and a willingness to get to know another person and accept them as they are. To share that person’s present reality and perhaps aid them in their future dreams. Friendships deepen with each new character aspect we learn about the other person and through each trial and challenge that is overcome together in the relationship.

Don’t claim to be my friend if you can’t even accept or respect me as a faith-filled person.

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12 replies »

  1. emmalmoore, thank you for your words of encouragement. I completely agree with your advice and practice it, for the most part, in my interpersonal interactions and relationships. I’ll note here that this wasn’t a “friend” per se that I referenced in the post; it’s a social media contact whom i’ve had very minimal contact with. I was trying to highlight her mis-use of the term “friend” in connection with her “unfriend-like” pre-judging of me.

    Further to your suggestion, God has done a full scrub of all my relationships – he has removed me, disconnected me, re-assigned me from people I had known for great chunks of my life. All the “close” friendships I had with people before I began my journey with God have all been demolished. There are a couple of people he has kept me in contact with, but I am completely aware that the connection is only for His purposes. And yes, I am waiting patiently for the good, enduring and supportive people/relationships He will bless my life with in His time.

    Continued blessings to you and yours.

    In gratitude,

    Shawnda

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    • Yea we are on the right track. I watched God disconnect me from long time friends and family to get me where I am today. But I’m all the better for it and can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t followed hard after Him. I have three categories for people: friends, associates, acquaintances. Some get moved around. That helps me keep a proper prospective. Blessings.

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      • Indeed, Emma. There’s been a lot of shifting in recent years. In recent months, I’ve been blessed with what I call “a friend for the day”. During some really difficult challenges lately, God has walked someone into my life for a day/short period to assist and walked them right back out! It’s been a great lesson re-enforcing my dependance on my Lord, but more so, a great comfort to be reminded of my Father’s concern for my needs.

        Many blessings to you on your continued journey.

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  2. Ask God for the right friends He has for you-He will. You don’t have to take abuse from the saved or unsaved alike. Ask God what your purpose is for being in their company. If He has something for you to say then say it and move on. If He tells you to just be there and not say anything-just be there. You might be the light in the dark, dreary place in their lives. The enemy will always try to put you in a bad light and he will use anyone to tear you down. Laugh at the enemy. Rejoice in The Lord. Strive to make God proud of you-which He already is. Blessings. Also thank you for visiting and liking my blog.

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  3. altruistico, thank you so much for your words of wisdom and insight. Very much appreciated. I certainly have to remind myself frequently that a servant will not be treated better than their master, but being directed to the Word (an appropiate word) by a Fellow in Christ is beyond encouraging. Thank you for your time and consideration and for hearing and responding to me. I truly appreciate you.

    Continued blessings upon you and yours as well.

    In gratitude,

    Shawnda

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    • Shawnda your post here gave me great thought and, truthfully, concern for you and others. Tomorrow I am posting an article on “How to evangelize to family and friends. I hope you can visit and hope more so it helps.

      Yours in Christ always;
      Michael

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      • Thanks, Michael, I will be sure to visit. Though, I must say, I don’t consider myself an evangelist; I simply live my life according to my beliefs and principles and interact with people as I am (as I grow) and where they are. I don’t interact with the explicit intent of converting anyone, however, I am always intent on being an example of and resource for my faith.

        I’m curious, what concern do you have for me from this post?

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      • We are all called to be examples and representatives of our Lord and Savior. We are called to bear witness. The fact that people elude to you as “being a Jesus freak, etc. etc.” implies to me that you speak to them on the subject of both religion and Christ. I find that commendable. With this having been said, whether you agree in whole or in part, you are witnessing, and thereby, evangelizing for God (Christ).
        My concern for you, and all young Christians, is that in the beginning there is an excitement for Christ. A wanting, if I may say so, of sharing the word with others. When that is met with opposition, disbelief or, as in many cases, slander and persecution, young believers fall away from “what they have been given through the word and faith.” That should not only be a concern to me; but to every Christian.
        In this world, Shawnda; and you have already discovered it, people want to be liked and often choose to be accepted by friends (non-believers). To do so they are choosing them over their belief. Therein lies the danger and the root of my concern.
        God bless you and stop back anytime with your questions or comments. You are always welcome here. God bless you.

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      • Michael, thank you for elaborating – much appreciated and I do agree. The season of stripping (as I call it) was indeed difficult and I struggled with holding on to people who where obviously being separated from me. It never crossed my mind to get off the path God has set me on – I was just hoping to pull folks onto the road with me.

        Thank you for sharing your insight. May God continue to bless you in your service to HIm.

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      • Shawnda I am glad I could be of help. it seems to me you’re on the right path and that makes me happy as well.

        You have a blessed week and God bless you always.

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  4. Consider these things, Shawnda, concerning hatred or disrespect from non-believer and even some Christian brothers and sisters: “Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred.” (Psalm 25:19); “They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause.” (Psalm 109:3); “Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love.” (Psalm 109:5); and finally, ” “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” (John 15:18).

    Do not be disheartened because the world hates you, rejoice for it means you are a child of God. Test every spirit and for all things give praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord. Even the abuse you receive as a Christian.

    Remember always this one simple truth: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).

    God truly does work in mysterious ways, it was earlier today I posted an article on friendships with unbelievers. I hope this little bit has helped you to be at peace with what you suffer through. Remember too, God has told us, “Victory is Ours!”

    May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless and keep you, and yours, always.

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