There’s always a weird feeling when talking about being a Christian, because you know that once you start talking people immediately have a perception of you. You’re a holier than thou, judgemental, boring, no sex before marriage, bible basher. I have never really been ashamed of my faith, but I have and do feel the weight of firstly trying to dispel the misconceptions and stereotypes around being a Christian, and secondly trying to remain Christ like in the process.
I had a phase when I was about 14 where I was very much ‘my name is Itunu and I am a Christian’. I was very proud of my faith, and great at pretending that feeling and being different from my friends didn’t bother me. I didn’t want to get involved in things that were against my faith but I fell into a trap; the trap being that I masked my insecurities about having different beliefs to those around me as ‘I’m a Christian therefore I am better than you’. Doing this isolated me even more from people. I had friends but felt far too different to build proper relationships with them, which is pretty useless when your whole faith is about spreading love.
You know in movies there is always that one ‘alternative’ kid whose personality revolves around the fact that they are different from everyone else. Initially they seem mysterious and untouchable but as time goes on they come across as pretentious; like under all the’ ‘fake deep’, ‘I listen to music that doesn’t perpetuate the message of a capitalist society’ we all know that they have Justin Bieber’s album on their phone.
I think that being a Christian teenager is quite similar. Sometimes you play into expectations or images of what it means to be a real Christian and feel like a big fraud in the process.
There’s nothing wrong with being alternative and listening to Bieber, just like there is nothing wrong with being a Christian and making mistakes.
There is no Ned Flanders perfect Christian. There isn’t. Christians get sad, insecure, angry- the whole lot, why, because we are human beings.
I don’t know tons of scriptures, I don’t always get things right, sometimes I question my beliefs and I’m not perfect. My Christian walk, however, is so important to me and I am striving to become even stronger in my faith, all the while providing an authentic voice and perspective through my journey.
So I would love to share this journey with you and encourage you to share yours.
Note: ‘Pressure’ by Jonathan McReynolds inspired me to write this, the lyrics encapsulate the pressure you can feel as a Christian. Check it out 🙂