I had a strange conversation the other day that is like so many other conversations I’ve had since I left the ministry and the church in 2010.
However, thinking back on it, being fiercely independent with an unquenchable curiosity for the truth, I’ve experienced these kinds of reactions to me throughout my adult life.
When we break away from the norm these are the kinds of reactions you will get.
The curious thing is, all these reactions are candy-coated with sincerity. Almost everyone who has reacted to me in these ways are deeply concerned about me. They are worried for me. They truly believe I am backsliding from the Lord and his people, am missing out on God’s benefits, and ultimately will be rejected by God and punished forever and ever, Amen! They genuinely, sincerely, believe they are dealing with a person who is lost and needs help now!
How I respond? I usually say something like this:
“Thanks. I appreciate your concern. Even though I’m better than I’ve ever been, I understand why you think the opposite… because I used to think the same way you do now. And don’t worry… I won’t pollute your friends or family with my ideas. Unless they are genuinely interested in what I think and ask me genuine questions, I will not try to convert them to my point of view.”
Ya, I know. It’s not a good feeling. But neither does it have to be devastating. Pretty much everyone in this world who knows me is confused about me. Including myself sometimes! So I don’t judge them. I just hope that they don’t go so far as to make it impossible to be in a relationship.
We’ve changed. There’s no going back.
That’s hard for some people to take. Especially for those who love us.