I live in North Carolina, right in the heart of what people refer to as “the Bible belt.” Years ago, when people found out we were going to move here, I remember multiple people jokingly warning me to watch out for the ‘Bible Thumpers and Holy Rollers’. At that time, in my ignorance, I got a real laugh about that.
In fact, I will never forget just a few months after we moved here, I was in the grocery store and a lady came up and asked if she could pray for me. I was SO taken aback by that. I remember thinking, “Do I look like I need prayer?” I wasn’t rude but said no thank you and walked away very quickly. I remember calling a bunch of people and telling them about the “maniac” stranger in the store who asked me to pray. I didn’t understand it at all. Even now, I personally don’t go up to strangers and ask if they want prayer but in retrospect, this may have been that woman’s only way she knew how to spread the love of Jesus.
Now that I am walking faithfully with Jesus- I enjoy talking about him and sharing his love. I look for the opportunity to arise organically and then I get right in there with no fear. But, at the beginning, I really was SO concerned about people judging me and calling me a Bible Thumper, Jesus Freak or Holy Roller. I could picture them rolling their eyes at me and mocking me behind my back. I didn’t want people to think I was an unreasonable extremist or worst of all- for them to think that I thought I was better than them- because that couldn’t be farther from the truth. But that is what people can think or say when you radically change your ways to live in line with what the Bible teaches.
AHA MOMENT: I was talking to my friend one day (she was also a new Christian with the exact same concern) and I made a declaration. I simply said, “You know what? People are going to judge me regardless. If I am going to be known as anything, I would rather be known as a “Jesus Freak, Bible Thumper” than anything else!” What could be better? It’s not like I am pushy with it by any means. I don’t try to make people believe what I believe against their will. I simply live my life to display the love of Jesus as he commanded us to! And when I have the chance to share it, I will.
Once I accepted that and declared it out loud, a freedom swept over me. A new found courage, freedom and deep seated resolve. I love Jesus SO much that I hope when people see me, they get a glimpse of Him through me. I want my life to be "I see Jesus in her" beautiful.
Galatians 1:10 says: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
The take away here is simply this: Everyone gets judged. That just is what it is. But... if you're going to be known or perceived to be anything…what would you have it be?
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