“Popular” is a weird word.
In the dictionary it’s defined as “liked, admired, or enjoyed by many people or by a particular person or group.” But what specifically makes someone popular? Who comes up with the rules that say it’s currently popular to say YOLO (I don’t personally believe that, just an example) or to wear a certain kind of clothing? Some how things just kind of become popular it seems.
Yet, sometimes things are only popular when you’re in a certain place. If you’re in chorus the popular thing would probably be to sing, if you’re at the gym the popular thing would be to work out. Likewise, if you’re at Life Teen the popular thing would be to praise and worship God and to be open about your beliefs. But if you’re in school I bet it’s not popular to be holy and voice your beliefs around your friends that don’t go to Life Teen.
Last year I finally was confident enough in my faith to bring it into my school. I had finally realized that God was so important that I couldn’t leave him home everyday when I went to school. I couldn’t say good bye to God at 7am each morning and shut him out.
I started out slow, I began to wear a cross to school everyday. I stopped swearing and tried to stick up for people more if I saw someone being bullied. I started saying “Oh my gosh” instead of “Oh my God.” That may seem like a small change but it’s an important one.
So, I thought I had a pretty solid group of friends so slowly I began to mention Life Teen to them and I have to say I was shocked at how they reacted. A lot of my friends right away got very uncomfortable. I’d ask them if they’d want to go and they’d say they need to do homework or come up with some other excuse. Some of my other friends straight out said no. When I asked them why they’d just say “because I don’t want to.”
And then of course there were the few that straight out started calling me “Jesus Freak.” I had no idea what to say when I was first called “Jesus Freak.” So I ended up saying, “Wow, okay.” I shrunk because I didn’t think anyone would ever call me that, at least not to my face.
And then I went home and cried. I didn’t know how to respond. I took it terribly.
But now I realize how true it was and still is. And how could it not be true? How could I not be a freak for someone who spent hours on a cross and died for me? I wish I could go back to when people called me that and just say thanks. Now I’d take it as a compliment. People still do occasionally and I just say yep, you’re right. Because that’s what I am, I’m a freak for Jesus.
In school Christ might not be the “popular” thing. But why do we want to be popular? If we have God on our side why do we need the whole world to love us? What we should be doing is getting the whole world to love Him.
And sure some people don’t hang out with me as much anymore because I guess they’re scared they’re going to be sucked into God’s everlasting love but I can get over that. If Jesus can die on a cross for me I think I can handle loosing a few friends for Him. Because in the end, if I have Jesus as my friend, I’ve got no worries in the world.
If you’re open about your faith you might be teased a little in the beginning but people will get bored of teasing you. People will start to respect you. Some might even begin look up to you and follow your example and try to come back to the church. Because after all, our main goal should not only be to get ourselves to heaven but to bring as many people with us as we can.
Praying for you!
Editor’s Note: “In My Own Words” is a section of blogs on LifeTeen.com that contains submissions from our readers. If you love reading LifeTeen.com and want to contribute a blog about how you, as a teen, live out your Catholic Faith in your life, feel free to email your submission to Christina at [email protected] Please keep submissions under 750 words.