You walk into a Christian gathering like Real Life on Sunday and what do you see? Often times what one sees is a lot of smiling faces, people that seem nice, people that seem pretty friendly. When I first came to Real Life I saw people excited to sing worship songs while raising their hands. Though part of me was intrigued, much of me was confused and felt very out of place. I thought: “what are these people so excited about?” It was easy to come to the conclusion that in order to be the type of person that “fit in” at a Christian group, I needed to have my life together. I assumed that I needed to be always excited about God and sure of my faith.
Though it is true that you can find some friendly people at a meeting like Real Life, along with those whom are legitimately excited about worshipping God, there is a lot more going on than the eye can see. What follows are three things Christians deal with but tend to hide.
Many students grow up in homes where Christian beliefs were just assumed. Yet, Ohio State is a secular campus and almost no matter what your major, you will encounter smart professors that seem determined to convince students to embrace other beliefs and ideologies. Sometimes life gets hard. Christians believe that God is good and loving, and at times it can be hard to make sense of that being true in light of our experience in a broken world. When we doubt, we tend to think that we are all alone, that we are the only one, and that there must be something wrong with us.
“If people really knew what I did last weekend, they would not accept me. If people really saw how I spend my time in front of my computer screen, I would be ashamed. If people really knew the bitterness I hold in my heart, they would see how ugly I really am.” These are common thoughts that Christians have, and they can lead to all kinds of facades and false pretense.
Life is a pearl, and the world is our oyster. Or is it? Sometimes we look to all the unknowns in our future and wonder if we can really trust God. “Will I find that special someone? Will I be get in to that program? If not, will my life fall apart?” Sometimes the “what if” scenarios add up to incapacitating anxiety.
Do you struggle with these? Well, we do too. At Real Life the next three weeks we will take a real and honest look at each of these three areas of our lives. We will be talking about whether or not we have a God that meets us where we are and helps us to come out of hiding, that we might experience the freedom of being fully known and truly loved. Join us in the freedom of uncovering our doubts, sins, and fears together before God.