If I want the public practice/expression of my faith to be welcomed by those who don’t share it, I get to (have to) earn that right. I’ve never argued someone into respecting my faith. Ever. I’ve only ever lived well enough that folks who might even despise my religion choose to respect my practice of it.

Seeing resistance to my faith (and the public expression of it) as a deficiency in others has generally blinded me to vital aspects of my own process. When I experience resistance to my faith then, my first check should be internal… “What kind of fruit is my life bearing?”

The moment I begin to see my neighbor and his worldview as an obstacle to the safe, secure and turbulence-free practice of my faith, I’ve lost the thread. I’ve not been asked by God to live and worship comfortably. I’ve been asked by God to live and worship well, wisely, generously and sacrificially… so that the world around me would be enriched, blessed, deepened and redeemed.

If the public expression of my faith is ill received, perhaps that’s because I’ve failed to faithfully do what is required of me by the God who sent me. And maybe pointing fingers at the “unfriendly” culture around me is a dodge.

I don’t expect folks to honor my faith because I call myself a Christian. I hope folks honor me as a person because I live (and love) like Jesus.