Change is never easy

Vanessa Opoku

Since I became a born again Christian, I’ve lost some friends. Why? I am a totally different person. My attitudes, my beliefs, the kind of music I listen to, the parties I go to, my language, what I will and will not tolerate all contribute to the people that surround me. When you become a strong Christian, your values change. Some Christians who are born again, maybe they used to sleep around in the past, smoke the illegal stuff, party all night long and even wake up in the morning not knowing what they did the night before. Almost all of us did it; I am guilty of some.

However, I do not participate in things like that anymore because I am trying to build a closer relationship with Christ, and a lot of Christians are doing the same. I am not saying I am the most righteous and holy — only God is — but with his guidance I can live a righteous life. It is not easy to be a Christian, but no one said it would be. Everyone makes mistakes, including born again Christians, but how we react to our sins is what makes the difference.

Are true Christians really accepted in our society? Sometimes I feel like we are, but most of the time I don’t. Anytime I start to talk about Christ with non-believers they tend to back up on me, look at me funny and, I almost think, they think I am crazy.

Since I don’t do the things I used to do in my past, I can’t really hang out with most of my past friends. So, we tend to distance ourselves from each other. It does hurt, but I believe to live a righteous life, some sacrifices have to be made: I don’t watch certain movies, I don’t go to parties that have secular music and I definitely quit drinking. It was not an easy decision to make, but for Christ, I decided to try my best to be obedient.

Nobody said being a Christian was easy; I mean, I lost a lot of friends, my habits changed and change is not always comfortable. I don’t do most of what our culture finds acceptable, and it is rough sometimes. It is so easy to just give in to old habits because we are tempted daily and constantly.

People change all the time because it is part of life, especially a part of college life. But why does my change make people uncomfortable? Some might say Christians are judgmental goody-two-shoes. When some of my friends sensed a changed in me, their first reactions said it all.

They judged me.

People are always going to talk about you, whether you’re Christian or not, and use your past against you. Personally, when people do this, the Apostle Paul’s Biblical letter encourages me greatly.

In this letter he said, “We stand true to the Lord whether others honor us or despise us, whether they criticize us or commend us. We are honest, but they call us liars. The world ignores us, but we are known to God; we live close to death, but here we are, still very much alive.”

It is perfectly fine to stand up for what you believe in; for me, it’s standing up for Christ. Some people will like you; some won’t.

But that’s part of life.

Vanessa Opoku is a sophomore school health education major and a guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].