You might think nothing much has changed (haha), but I really had so much baby fats when I was in 6th grade, so I was a bully’s favorite. Every day I dreaded going to school, and not knowing how I was going to be bullied added up to the anxiety.
But today, I no longer remember the names they used to call me, or the insults they hurled at me. I only remember two things: that time when one of my best friends joined the rest of the class to laugh at me, and that other time a rumor went around about me faking the “religious” things I did – closing my eyes and raising my hands during worship – in a Christian school no less.
I got really angry when I heard the rumor, because it’s not true. The year 2003 was one of the most exciting years in my spiritual walk with the Lord because I was part of our music ministry, and we were preparing for this big concert that would not have been possible for a small church like ours had it not been for the grace of God.
At a young age of 12, I started learning the basics of Christianity beyond church-going: I read my Bible every day (because our music director was checking our notebooks…), prayed for my friends (and my bullies), and dedicated my time to ministry.
To be accused of faking my Christianity when I was starting to enjoy growing in the Lord felt awful.
Tonight, I’m pondering on where I am now in my relationship with the Lord more than 10 years after I was called a fake. No one would – or could, even if they try – bully me now about my “religion” (I’m always iffy calling it a religion, but that’s another story…), but I’m looking at the mirror instead.
Have I gone far in this walk, or have I only been taking baby steps all these years? Am I still a baby Christian, going to church for the sake of going there? The Bible said “by their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16). What kind of fruit does my life bear, and am I witnessing to the world with my talents? Or am I using them only for my own gain?
Am I really in but not of this world?
I’m a very fickle person, which is why I need to remind myself all the time to mean what I say. I will read my Bible every day. I will pray for him and her.
The Bible says it straight and simple:
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)
Most of the time, we forget the simplest things, the basics. So tonight, because I remembered them again, I will try harder – lest I really become a fake.
Bonus: A photo of my 12-year-old self, in all my baby fats glory! Hahaha. This was during a shoot for the concert poster, and to my left was my childhood
unrequited first love (oo may distinction haha)