Charles Carter

Comfortable in Fellowship

Charles Carter
Comfortable in Fellowship

Welcome to another Thursday full of awesome writing!  With the deepest appreciation, thank you for choosing to spend a couple of minutes with me, just speaking what God has put on my mind.  If you’re new, this is my opportunity to just freestyle and spit what God has put on my mind.  So, enough with an introduction, let’s get this thing poppin’ shall we?

Growing up, still young in my faith, I found myself on the opposite end of the “fellowship” stick.  I put fellowship in quotations because I always felt I wasn’t apart of the social club, a misfit so to speak (Social Club reference, don’t you dare judge me).  I always thought a bit different than a lot of people around me when it came to faith.  Saying that, I don’t want you to think I went against God’s word.  It’s quite the opposite as I took Jesus’ teachings to heart.  What I mean by that is that I wasn’t afraid to touch the sinners or the sick; the poor or the fragile; the meek and downtrodden.  I wasn’t afraid to love those of different religions, they’re still God’s children and if he loves them why shouldn’t I?

I could keep going on and on but the overlaying message is that people felt I was “different” and because I didn’t succumb or submit to their way of thinking, I was wrong.  In a forum where everyone is allowed to speak on anything, I’d speak and wham! You’re wrong, Charles, and I’m sitting there with the blank stare like, “So, you didn’t just hear that I said the same thing she said but in a different way from a different perspective?”  The end result of being labeled different or a misfit was crippling to my spiritual faith because soon, I fell into the trap of thinking all Christians would look at me differently and I’d sit there paralyzed.

So I withdrew.  I withdrew from any spiritual debate with the same excuse of “I’d rather not speak on it.”  I started weakening in my spiritual relationships with others to the point that I became easily intimidated by anyone speaking the gospel, though I could tell you the same verse or story they spoke of from beginning to end.  I suffered mightily, family.  I could see it seeping into other areas of my life as well.  I became afraid to dress the way I wanted; enjoy the things I wanted; be the person I wanted to be.

Then, change came.  I can’t exactly pinpoint where it came from.  Maybe it was constantly hearing “I mean, you’re okay but if you change this you’ll be what I’m looking for,” or maybe it was one of those late night TV sermons. All I know is God was tired and he let it be known.  I could feel him asking, “Why are you changing who I made you to be?”  As everyone who has ever ran from something understands, there’s a point you realize you’re tired of running.  For me, I understood I was tired of running from myself, the same me God crafted and molded, breathing life into me.  

So I started being myself and you know what, myself wasn’t bad.  The proof was that people started gravitating towards me and actually wanting to know more about me.  Those who wanted me to change faded, but they weren’t meant to last long in my life anyway.  The slowest change came in my spiritual fellowship however.  I still felt extremely intimidated and reluctant to actually do as God commanded.  It wasn’t until recently that I found churches and friends who flipped my world upside down.  I saw that there were others who not only promoted change but also were different in their own ways.  Though I don’t attend any of the churches anymore (moved) they taught me an everlasting lesson.  Different is fine.  As a matter of fact, everyone in the bible that was called to do anything and everything were different than one another.  Amongst the disciples, you had so many backgrounds and that’s how Jesus wanted it.  How could he teach them to go amongst others when all were of a singular mindset coming in?  Each one, from Peter to James had varying ways and it worked with spreading the message.  

Not to promote or brag, but Unashamed Impact has been one of the greatest experiences I could’ve ever asked to be apart of because I feel different is what I’m asked to be.  I’m asked to be bold and write these blogs to you in my own voice (with God’s guidance).  I think that’s why sometimes I’m afraid to write, not because I’m not allowed but because I have the freedom to do so, write from my heart.  Through my blogs, I’ve now gained the opportunity to truly be a backpack Christian, spreading Gods word with just his word and my voice.

Call to Action

As a family, how can we better include everyone from all walks of life with all types of varying views?  We all have different relationships with Christ remember that.  The way you pray is different than the way I pray.  The way one verse is interpreted by you may be interpreted differently than someone else.  The point is, fellowship is meant to build us not break us down.  No one should be made to feel as though they are an outcast from the family God called us to draw near.  Jesus taught love, not separation.  Have you ever felt as though you were deemed a misfit in fellowship?  Maybe you can think of how you made someone feel bad because they thought a bit different?  Either case lets love one another and include EVERYONE.  Remember, God qualifies the called.  If someone is brave and bold enough to express to you their feelings, be brave and bold enough to love them and guide them in a loving manner.  

Prayer:  Lord, thank you so much for making me as you have.  You crafted me, every quirk and thought I have.  So please don’t allow me to be shy away or back down from who I am.  As long as I follow your word, I know I have a place in your kingdom.  After all, you made me in your image and if I’m a misfit you were the originator!  I want to grow with my family, differences and all.  I pray that you help those who are also feeling the same as me.  We are to be united not separated; Loving, not hardened.  I ask these and all other blessings in Jesus name, Amen.