Look to God, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.—Psalm 34:5
My daughter came home from her high school world history class this year and said, “Mom, you wouldn’t believe how the textbook summarized Christianity!”
“It said the goal of Christianity is to gain eternal salvation, and you can do this by confessing your sins to a priest. It also said Christians believe that you will go to eternal damnation if you don’t follow the laws. It barely mentioned Jesus and didn’t give examples of any of his teachings.”
This Catholic kid of mine then explained to her public school classmates that she didn’t think that was a very good description of Christianity. It passed right over Jesus, didn’t make mention of our central teaching of loving your neighbor as yourself, and in fact, didn’t mention the word love at all! When I related this incident to a Christian friend, she responded, “This is why my daughter (also a high schooler) doesn’t want to admit she’s Christian at school.” Another woman said her teens don’t want to be known as Christians because the negativity toward Christianity by their peers is so powerful.
Are you ashamed or embarrassed by your faith in God? Or rather, are you sometimes ashamed or embarrassed by the behavior of some people in our church? I am sometimes embarrassed by the latter, not the former. May we never be ashamed that we follow a loving, healing, merciful God, even if some people don’t understand what is at the core of our religion.
For reflection: Are there people in your life who don’t understand why your faith is important to you? Look for opportunities to share why without necessarily convincing them that they should believe the same as you.
To Pray: Let me be radiant in my faith, a witness to your love and mercy.