Two years ago, one man changed my life, and it hasn’t been the same since.
Towards the end of the school year while I was in 9th grade, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. Contrary to what people believe, Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship with Jesus Christ. When you accept Jesus into your life you “put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4: 22-24).
Becoming a Christian was a life-changing experience! The way I spoke, the music I listened to, the people I hung around, and even my daily routine was changed. However, these things weren’t done because someone told me to, or out of fear of Hell; I changed the way I lived because there IS a loving God who wants to have a relationship with me.
I believe losing so many friends was one of my biggest struggles as a Christian. Before being a Christian, I was popular for all the wrong reasons. I was hyperactive, gossipy, and did whatever I could to fit in and get friends.
After finding Christ it was a struggle to be around some of the friends I had for multiple reasons. Either they cursed too much, gossiped about others, were involved in illegal or sinful things, or they just didn’t respect my new relationship with Christ. As much as I wanted to remain being friends I couldn’t because “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). I tried telling certain friends I wasn’t down with the old things I used to do, and most were cool with my new lifestyle but others weren’t.
I was pegged as the guy you didn’t want to tell your personal stuff to because I’d judge you. They would say, “I didn’t tell you what was going on, because, I know ‘how you are’ ”. Judgmental and not understanding, I’ve heard this time after time from friends that supposedly “trusted” me. I suppose this was another big struggle, because no matter how hard I tried to be a good friend, I was still isolated as the “holy” one in the group. As time passed though I grew thicker skin, and realized that I shouldn’t lose heart because I’d been called to be set apart.
Naturally it hurt. I wanted to keep the friends I had acquired, but wanted to please the God I served even more. As I began to lose old friends they were quickly replaced with new friends who loved God or respected me and my religion.
I am blessed. I am naturally an optimistic person and have a good nature, but as Christ worked on my heart and life I began to exude joy, and the light that all Christians have. Through my class work, peer interaction, job life, and general conversation I was setting an example. It’s an amazing feeling to know that the creator of the universe holds your world in his hands. It makes you bold, courageous, loving and most of all you want others to experience God. With everything I do, I want to showcase God’s love and glorify him with my singing, school work, kindness, talent, and optimism. I concern myself with the welfare of my friends, hoping that they too will accept Jesus Christ into their life. With a mindset like this everything seems smaller, and I generally don’t worry about things as much as others may worry. There is a Bible verse that encourages me, and it’s, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ; What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we wear? For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:31-33). This verse sums up how a day is for me. I don’t need to worry because God is always looking out for me and he’s proven himself worthy time and time again. Through prayer, I’ve had family and friends healed, been blessed financially, and have had friends accept Jesus as their Lord and savior.
The life of any Christian has struggles, but every day we have the satisfaction of knowing our God “so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
About the Author:
My name is Michael Frazier, Jr. I attended School Without Walls High School. I’m currently in 11th grade and will be attending college fall of 2013. I’ve taken steps to reaching my goals by doing well in school and having my hands in many activities in the school and community. A few of these activities include: glee club, student based planning team, teen court, and tutoring. I am an optimistic, enthusiastic young man who is on fire for God and enjoys playing the piano, singing, learning, and having fun with whatever I do.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @FrazierMichael