If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.– 1 Peter 3:13-18 MSG
Your own journey can take you through some weird places. Maybe places you never knew existed. You hate that you care too much what other people think. You let it guide you for too long and you start to notice that you’re not being you. You’re being some overworked, overextended, translucent version of what other people want of you. In this case, they’re your opposition. They are between you and who God called you to be.
You already know that you should be focusing on Jesus, but we get that idea messed up, too. You lose your vision a little and He starts turning into something on a checklist instead of your perspective. You reduce Him to “should”.
You alter yourself to meet the expectations of others because you’re not being honest about where you are on your journey. You think that if you’re not like everybody else, they’ll think something is wrong with you. Maybe it’s time that you try to articulate why you live the way you live. Form a complete thought, an elevator pitch, about this place in your journey. You’re there, so you should be able to look around you and glean the wisdom of a clear conscience.
You don’t have to defend your reality with God when someone else’s reality looks different. You, do, however, have to be ready to respectfully speak up about it. It’s okay if people oppose you when your conscience is clear. You’re so worried that they’ll judge you that you completely miss an opportunity to be a voice that echoes God’s to them. They could end up learning something from you.