Early Trials

Without getting into too many details, I can say with certainty that a foundational aspect of my personal journey of coming to faith was clashing with my parents throughout that process.  For me to call myself a Christian was fine by my parents so long as what that meant was being a well-behaved, church-going person.  But once it affected where I wanted to live and what I wanted to do in my career and who I wanted to do life with, that was too radical a life shift for them to be comfortable with or stay silent about.  So sparks flew.    
I have a good relationship with my parents now, despite our disagreements and differences of opinion, so the real heat in those arguments feels and was very long ago.  But it continues to influence my understanding of faith, because it was the crucible in which that faith was formed.  So to me, what other people think of my decisions, even people who are very close to me and whose opinions I respect and value greatly, does not as easily keep me from what I think is the right thing to do.

This can be taken to an extreme, of course.  Wise counsel is an important part of making good decisions and having good character.  But so is taking a stand for what you believe to be true even if no one else is with you, even if people you like a lot are actively against you.  And so as painful and soul-searing as those early faith trials were for me, I am thankful to God for them. 

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