Defending the faith takes courage

By  Kanica Kindrachud, Youth Speak News
  • November 20, 2006
Going to a Catholic school, I occasionally get teased from some of my non-Catholic friends. "How many 'Our Fathers' have you said today?" they mock. While I try to laugh it off and say that it doesn't matter what they think, it still bothers me deep down. I wish I had the courage to stick up for not only my beliefs, but for God, who makes all things possible.

I am sure this happens to all people at one time or another. Sometimes I don't have the courage to stand up for what I believe. I pretend that it doesn't matter and think that if I show my true beliefs, I will be shunned and ribbed. While there is some truth to this, I must step into the shoes of those who commit these actions.

Perhaps they never had the opportunity to learn and grow with God as I did. Maybe they grew up ignorant of His glory and do not know the inner peace that I, as a Christian, enjoy. While I generally do not have any sympathy for those who make fun of others — especially not when they make fun of another's faith — I feel sorry for these people from time to time. They have not had a chance to explore their faith as I have or had access to a faith-based education. I tend to resent them somewhat for their comments sometimes, but can I really blame them? I wish I knew the answer.

I have always believed very strongly in the statement: "Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone." The irony of it is that I am never alone, as God is always standing there with me. With His help, I can do anything, even stand up in front of my friends.

So should I, with God's help, take this matter into my own hands? Suppose each time I was teased about my faith I stood up for it 100 per cent. Suppose I explained the reasoning and encouraged those "teasers" to explore the issue themselves. Would this help? Would my friends be empowered to learn more about Christians?  Would I be able to make an impact on them, perhaps change their opinions a little? Maybe. All that is lacking is my own courage to carry it out.

God, please give me, and all of us, the strength to do this. With your help, I know I can make a difference. I will have the courage to defend my faith with you by my side. I can show the world the wonders of your miracles and perhaps inspire others to help even more people. If I can do this, and with your help, I know I can, and perhaps I will be able to dispel some of the misunderstandings in the world. If everyone did this, imagine the change in perception that would occur.

I know I can do this. After all, God gave His only Son for us. Living for Him is the least I can do.

(Kindrachuk, 15, is a Grade 10 student at Vanier Collegiate in Moose Jaw, Sask.)

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