I love going to church on Wednesdays. I love it that a group of high school students can come together and worship and learn about God. I love the relationships that are built through it.
Wednesday nights are my weekly pep rally. My one thing that gets me through the week. My reminder that I am not the only one struggling, and I am not the only one who leans on God. My time to be encouraged in the Lord, and filled with His Spirit.
Tonight we were singing one of my favorite songs - "As For Me".
The chorus says,
"As for me, I will raise Your banner high.
I will shout aloud Your name; I won't deny.
Jesus, You have given all, so I give You my life.
I will raise Your banner high."
As I was singing and raising my hands and shouting these words to God, though, I found myself convicted.
"I will shout aloud Your name."
Was I doing that? Sure, I talk a good game about orphan care. At church. With my friends who feel the same way I do.
But, when I'm at school, I don't bring up how excited I am about what we're learning in Philippians. I don't talk about what God's doing in my life. I don't gossip much, but I listen to it. I participate in it. I don't stop it.
The truth is that at school, I try and blend. I don't compromise what I believe, but neither do I proclaim it. If someone asked me if I was a Christian, I would reply with an emphatic yes. But I wouldn't just tell someone.
When people in my classes go outside and smoke or talk about sleeping with their boyfriends, I don't object. I remain silent. I choose to say nothing, not out of sympathy or concern for them, but out of fear of what they'll think of me.
When they ask me about my life, my family, my extracurricular activities, I find myself responding like any normal teenager. And as I replay my responses in my mind, I realize that there is no way to tell the difference between me and a normal teenager.
There is no way that the people in my classes would be able to tell that I was a Christian.
And it makes me ashamed. How dare I raise my hands in worship? How dare I sing the words, "As for me, I will raise Your banner high"?
I sing those things in church, but I don't live them. And I'm tired of it. As a follower of Christ, I am commanded to proclaim Him to a fallen world. I am told that people should see that I am different from the way I talk and act and walk with Christ.
If people can't tell that I'm different, am I really different? Can a Christian be a Christian and not tell the world about Jesus?
The way I act to the world, regardless of what they believe, should reflect what I believe.
And as a transformed daughter of a risen God, I am ready for my life to mirror that.