I am a Christian. But I don’t mean, “I go to church on holidays” or “My grandfather was a pastor” or “My mom forced to me to go to church every day of the week when I was child”. I mean Christian is the most literal way, I am committed to living according to the person and practices of Jesus Christ. It was a decision I made, not under coercion or force by any person or group. I wake up every day and make the decision to intentionally try to be more like Christ.
I am not perfect – QUITE the opposite. But I believe a perfect God is trying to work on me, to make me a little more like Him, a bit at a time. It’s messy. It’s hard. But I believe it the best thing ever for my life. This does not mean I think I am better than you because you don’t have the same belief and life pursuit. I apologize if my facial expressions or attitude or actions have conveyed the contrary. Can I share something with you? Most often, when you tell me something about yourself or your opinion, something that doesn’t align to Christ or the Bible, and I have a strange look on my face, it’s NOT a gesture of judgement. I’m probably in deep debate in my own head about what to say. Should I just keep the conversation going and move on to the next topic or should I try to express my beliefs on the subject? I ask this question a lot because I know the latter may result in being ostracized and ridiculed before I can get a complete sentence out. It’s daunting and sometimes I get tired of standing out, of being different. But that what I signed up for.
Living in this way is hard…really HARD. Living this way has great rewards…really GREAT. I’m not just talking about heaven. (But I am really looking forward to it) I’m not talking about having a lot of money or having every problem in my life fixed. Those aren’t guarantees for anyone. I’m talking about something simple and beautiful, I get to grow closer to the one I love the most, Jesus Christ. I really mean that, I love Him. I can’t imagine my life without Him. It’s not about what He does for me, although I am grateful for all that God gives me. It’s about who He is and how He’s loved me, even when I didn’t reciprocate. I read the Bible not so I can impress people with scriptures I’ve memorized or to have an arsenal of quotes with which to condemn others. I read because I just want to learn more about the One I love. And every time I learn something about Him, I fall in love just a little deeper. I try to live according to His ways but it’s not in order to have a resume of righteousness to hold over other people’s heads. It’s just the way I demonstrate my love and commitment to Him. And that makes me happy.
I know I haven’t always done a great job about how I present my Christianity at work. I apologize if I’ve ever made you feel like coming to church with me was a prerequisite for my friendship or a mandatory exercise I must complete as a condition of my religion. Neither is the case. The truth is that I just want to share something I think is beautiful with you and sometimes I over think how to do it. It’s like I’ve been invited to share in a great, wondrous gift and I just want to extend the invitation to you. However, I respect your ‘no’. But please respect my ‘yes’.
I want to let you know I don’t sit in judgement of you. I’m not counting every time I hear you curse when your computer freezes or a deal goes sour. I’m not noting how many boyfriends or girlfriends you go away with on romantic weekends. I’m not keeping a record of how many drinks you have at the office party. I have no right and no place to do such things. I ask that you do the same in turn. Don’t look for an opportunity to call me a hypocrite or a fake Christian every time I fall short of my pursuit to be more like Christ. Trust me, I already feel terrible about it when it happens and have to be careful not to condemn myself. You don’t have to prove that I make mistakes just like everyone else. I assure you, I am fully aware of it and so is God. But He loves me anyway and is willing to forgive me, and anyone else, if we want His forgiveness. (You see why I love Him?)
I guess my point in all this is to say that I’m not here to change you. I want to know you for who you really are. I want you to feel free to be yourself around me. We spend over 40 hours per week together, that’s too long to be uncomfortable in your own skin. But I expect to be extended the same courtesy. When you ask me about my weekend, expect that church is going to be included somewhere in my response. When you ask me about my opinion on a world event or issue, know that my beliefs are going to come out in my answer. When you divulge a personal problem you are having, don’t be surprised when I ask you if you want to pray. It’s not an attempt to “convert” you, it’s just the way I show that I care.
I can’t “turn-off” being a Christian at work anymore than you can “turn-off” being yourself. It’s my life. It’s who I am. And at the same time, it’s who I am striving to be.
The Office “Jesus Freak”