As a Christian teenager, the obstacles of persecution and acceptance seem to control my life. It's bad enough that I am a Christian, but I ALSO follow the Old Testament laws, which makes me now a "fraud". Knowing my Jewish friends despise my faith and my Christian ones think I take it too seriously, I tend to clam up and try to make all religious talk humorous. I try to keep my head afloat, to be accepted, in my group of peers, but sometimes this constant struggle tires me out.
I went to a party last night at my friend's house and as I approached the door, my host hugged me and welcomed me. I was very excited to enter until mid-embrace, he whispers "Too bad your religious is crazy". Out of nowhere. I was so hurt by this comment, but I tried to lighten the mood, like I always do; however I have come to realize that by doing so, they have a greater disrespect for my beliefs and devotion...since I tried to play it off to appease their comfort levels and "keep the peace", I have shamed YHVH in their eyes. I am kind of writing this with a heavy heart full of shame at the moment. I've realized the impurity I exhibit with my friends, the fights my faith creates, the way I present myself...it's so ungodly and frankly disgusting. I am thankful I have be shown this downfall in my character and that it has come as my high school career has ended. I so desperately need college and the chance it brings to reinvent myself. How can I glorify YHVH and his power when my own tongue is lukewarm in the face of opposition? Acceptance truly is not a path Christians can take, and although I have read this in the Bible, it's been so hard for me to accept. I love my friends and knowing they utterly despise my faith hurts; in every sense of the word. I cannot participate in all the activities they do, if it violates my faith, and to them, my absence is a "diss". They can't understand why I allow religion to hold me back in all the "fun" that's in this world...and sometimes I feel so alienated, I wonder that myself. I feel like I am perpetually in a state of "What if I am wrong? what am I missing out on?" Not much to tell you the truth, but when it comes to bonding, it means the world.
My town lacks Christians...it lacks religion entirely. I believe I have known a handful of truly religious people in my life, but absolutely no Christians who practice my way...the way of Yeshua. I remember one day this week I was sitting in lunch and my friend asked me if I thought he was immoral. I hesitated, and he elaborated asking if his premarital sex was wrong, in my opinion. Naturally I said yes, that in the Bible that is not permissible and I did not take said behavior to be "moral" and acceptable in my own life. To my surprise the entire group attacked me. I honestly answered an OPINION question and that angered them so much. I'll never forget looking down the table and seeing another one of my close friends, the one who took me to my senior prom, yell down for me to shut my mouth and let people have their own ideas; that my way was not universally correct and therefore was not appreciated being made known. Somehow it was my fault the topic started, because Christians "always instigate" these issues. His face was so full of rage, until the friend who posed the question assured him he started it. He immediately backed down, but the damage was done. I saw how fast people forsake their own God...this boy was a self proclaimed Catholic, and yet he would rather conform his ideas to society than stand up for YHVH and his commands.
This was persecution. It happens so often in my life I have never understood, but I have, am, and will suffer for my allegiance to Yeshua. I will never be tolerated: not by my friends, my family, my country, or the world. I think my faith threatens people in a way. They see my strict lifestyle and it scares them...that they aren't fulfilling the shoes YHVH layed out for them. I pity that. And I pray for them every night. I am so grateful that I have this burden, Baruch HaShem for my struggles, my triumphs, and my strength. It is no easy job being a follower of the One True God, but man is it worth it! He renews us every day; we are definately one of the most resilient people the world will ever see.