About ten minutes ago, for the first time in probably my entire life, I think I was speechless.

A new friend asked me if I was a Christian and then shared with me that he was an athiest. ...and there it is: the moment all Christians learn about in church where it is the ultimate situation of God placing someone in your life to be a witness to and share your faith with! Here it is, landing in my lap like an acorn from the sky (the sky IS falling today, in fact) and I have the perfect opportunity to share what I believe -- and I clam up.

He proceeds to tell me that he doesn't believe in God and tells me how Christians cherry pick what they want to believe, compared the old and new testament and asked me why I believe certain things. He then asked me why I pray at all if I believe that God will work in my life either way. "You might as well pray to a milk jug. Try it, the same things will happen in your life regardless." .....aaaaand the most talkative person in the triangle area is left speechless.

During the past two years of my life it has become increasingly hard to be a Christian. Most of my friends growing up were in youth group with me in church and I attended a Christian college. Yeah, I was friends with non-Christians throughout both of those times but the world I live in as an adult makes me feel as if I grew up the as most naive adolescent in the world. While it's definitely difficult to live by the bible, it is even more difficult to share with someone why I do so. I had no answers to his questions and little response to his accusations. All I could tell him is that I live by faith and that while I may not be able to describe or explain it, I still believe it and have seen God work in my life and the life of others.

I'll be honest, I felt discouraged and right in line with hypocrites, like I was a terrible representation of a Christian in that moment. I know he knows I'm not perfect, but something to consider going forward in this friendship is how I act. People are always watching - who do I want them to see? Colossians 3:12 says, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." HAHA!!! I don't think a day ever passes where I can honestly check every single one of those off of my to-be-like list. Unfortunately that is only ONE verse of many describing a Christ-like lifestyle. So, add probably 50 more characteristics to those five. Maybe I'll do better. Maybe next time I'll know what to say. Even if I'm wrong... what am I going to lose when I die?  If he's wrong, he loses everything. Makes me want to be better and definitely makes me want better for him in his life.

I make mistakes every day, but I'm grateful for forgiveness, grace and every chance I get to start over.  I can only hope that people in my life see me making an effort and know that there is more to living and dying; there is someone and something to live for.

side note:  this is not an attack against my friend.  he was simply expressing his opinion/beliefs and we were having a friendly conversation/debate.  he's a really nice guy and I respect him and am glad to have him as a friend.  I have no problems with non-christians, in fact am friends with many and all I want is the best for all of them.  love doesn't come conditionally.


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