Many times, people like me face obtacles on our journey to become a Christian. However, since I am much older and independent, it doesn’t cause me much problems. But we have heard of parents throwing their children out of the home upon discovering that their children has converted. Some even went as far as severe ties. There are also spouses who hide from their other half that they are attending events organised by Christians. I know one guy who chickened out and turned pale whenever his wife phone him when he is in the middle of some Christians gathering (not my church but some very charismatic group). LOL. I cannot understand him.
It does seem funny but seriously, it is something that most churches should recognise. Once we are baptised or converted, we practically are left on our own. Unless, we take the initiatives to seek out our trusted church friends to confide in, most converts are on their own.
Sometimes, if we voice out our conflicts, we may get remarks that left us with no further arguments. “Have faith in Him” We are given to feel that we are not perfect, no faith, not religious enough, not praying hard enough, not moving with the holy people and etc.
It is easy for people who have been a Christian for a long time, or living with a complete Christian family, to just put down these orientations that we so much needed and tell us to keep praying and have faith. But seriously, they do not know the kind of dilemma we face. (ok, I don’t have much objections but I do get rejections from my in-laws)
I received an email from one of my reader expressing the kind of thing she is going through now.
I can’t say that I am totally clear in my faith yet, still battling conflicts in me. you see, I’m the only Christian at home. So, many times, I feel like I’m “two persons”, Although my parents have come to accept it, they don’t allow me to tell my other relatives. I did what I was told to do….didn’t have enough courage to stand up and proclaim in front of all my relatives…all of them are of another faith.
I promised to reply her on this blog because I know I am also groping for that sense of belonging. I am sure there are others too who are just getting used to calling themselves Christians.
- I think the best thing we can do as a new convert is to show our relatives and friends our Christlike example instead of words. I.e. to be humble, kind, never discern ourself from them and avoid being too loving! Hahaha, some Christians are overflowing with love and their actions do turn off people who are non-believers.
- Remember Jesus and the Samaritan woman, prostitutes, tax collectors and etc. He doesn’t pick his choice of people He mix with. So, if one is a new convert, don’t just keep strictly to the pack and hence, causing other friends to feel like outsiders.
- Know that people call us names. One of them is ‘Hong Kau kui’ or Christian ghost. Inside, feel proud that you are the chosen one. Turn to the Bible if it bothers you. I bet you will find many encouraging words there. All the prophets from the Old Testament and even Jesus got rejected. Jesus was even rejected by his own brothers and sisters who doubted Him.
- But….don’t take glory and self satisfaction that all those antagonisms are making you closer to God. I know some Christians will go all out to evangelise, preaching to almost everyone, door to door they knock, chase you down at the park etc etc. They see every rejection as a step closer to God. No, Jesus (ooops, or is it St. Peter in his epistle to Corinthians?) said that if we are to preach, we must make our language understood by the people we want to reach out to. Make it witty and acceptable to the other party.
- Remember that God make the choice, so let it be if no one cares if you are a Christian and do not want to hear what Good News you have for them. We can only do so much. Each of us are given special gifts when we accept Christ. Some people may be given the gifts to evangelise, some people are not. Know what are the seven gifts and reflect which one is yours. I know I have the gift of counselling and understanding. 🙂
There are seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord (read more)
(stained glass window from my church)
One more question :
I feel so bad about it till now, that I did not have the courage and did not even turn to rely on His strength, instead I hide my feelings, hide from Him and even dwelt in my own confusion…and doubts.
We always feel we are not worthy in the eyes of the Almighty. I guess it is normal and a good sign because if a person who believes in God and started feeling like an exclusive, holy-moly person, then, all hell break loose, don’t you agree? They will get confused and think that they are invincible and do all kind of things to spoil the good name of the Almighty. So, don’t feel bad about it. After all, even Jesus had at one point asked God, the Father, “Father, Father, why have You foresaken me?” (in his prayers in the garden before Good Friday) To avoid feeling this helplessness, I would suggest that you try to keep close to God. Read more inspiration books, even Chicken soup for the soul is filled with stories to uplift you. Join your Christian brethens and worship and praise God. I am sure you will be filled with the love of the Holy Spirit and gain a lot of strength and pride after this.
Give yourself time. When caught in sticky situation, call out in your heart for Jesus’s help. He will guide you with what to say and what to do. Trust me, I had been blessed many times and know that if we really turn to Him, we can’t go very wrong. He will also shield you and keep you safe. He won’t leave you struggling in a pool when you do not know what to do. (psst….like whether to take the joss-sticks given to you or politely tell the people who offered it to you that you are a Christian)
My last word, remember that Jesus said if we want to follow Him, we have to leave everything behind. Read the Gospel of Matthew and I am sure you will know what I mean. Here’s an excerpt and the explanation.
God bless and thanks for trusting me. 🙂