Someone once told me that the definition of a person can be found by examining what they talk about most. I had to ponder it for a while, until I saw the truth in what they had said. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, because I defined myself as a vastly different person with different values, than the one whom my friends would speak of based off of what I talked about most. Granted, I know there is more to a person’s characteristics and definition, per se, than JUST what they talk about, but it was still really interesting to think about. If I want to influence people, shouldn’t what I talk about be right on par with whom I want to be and am? My speech shouldn’t be filled with complaints, if I am really an optimistic and content person that just doesn’t voice my happiness as much as my complaints. If I consider myself a Christian, why don’t I talk about it more often?
The answer plain and simple is that I have a habit of putting God in a God box, only to be opened on Wednesdays and Sundays, and I pray that I am alone in this struggle and that everyone else is a pro at letting God be in every part of their lives, but I fear that is not the case. I compartmentalize my faith way too often, and it is like a sickness that needs a cure. I’m getting better about it, but there is no one time cure, it takes diligence and perseverance. Studies have shown that 70% of church attending Christians will graduate high school and stop attending church. Of that seventy percent, only half will return in their lifetime. What happens when that somewhat mandatory opening of the God box goes away? What happens when, now, the students can dictate their own lives and schedules? The God box get shoved in the back of the attic of life, right next to broken relationships and old forgotten passions.
Time goes on and they forget what a relationship with God is like, and decide that they can get on without one. And they never go back. Or they have a crisis that sends them searching for any semblance of who they used to be, and they find the God box, dusty after all those unopened years, and open it on a last resort. Hopefully, they rediscover the wonder and crave a relationship with Him again.
Both situations could be avoided, though, and that is the sad part. It is awful to think that there is a chance that we could save people from going through this, if we all just talked about our faith a little more. I’m not saying we need to introduce ourselves and say, “Hi! My name is ______. Have you heard about Jesus?” All I’m saying is that, at least for me, there are moments when I should be more open about my faith and welcome questions about it. I need to stop thinking about being labeled as a “Jesus Freak”, and just accept it. I would rather be sharing my faith and be called a Jesus Freak, then be quiet about it and still be thought of as a Jesus Freak because I don’t cuss, drink, or party and I go to church.
So what defines you? Is it what your friends would say as well? If is your faith? Or is it something else? Don’t let society be the first to define you, beat them to it and define yourself through your actions and words.