discipleship, Faith, persecution


 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18

They called me “church girl”, those two boys who sat behind me in history class. It didn’t bother me much, I was a baby Christian and completely “on fire” for Jesus at the time. Based on their lewd comments I often overheard and their somewhat obnoxious  16 year old, testosterone-driven banter I was subjected to, I made certain assumptions about them–that they were unchurched and a bit ‘wild’. Despite this, I remained friendly, smiling outwardly at their sarcasm and teasing.

Their goading went on beyond the classroom, where I was held as a captive audience. They messed with me in the hallways, and in the lunchroom, joking about whether or not I needed to go pray, or how many times I might be attending church that week. Most of it really didn’t bother me.

And then one of these ungentlemanly boys asked me out on a date.

I made the mistake of saying yes.

Most Christians know the term missionary dating, and most who know the term, recognize the warning that often follows, which is to say: “Don’t do it!” (Based on the scripture in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14-15

But I was a newish Christian, remember? And I was lit up for Jesus and confident that this agreement to date this boy who had tortured me verbally for months regarding my faith, was in fact not a bad move on my part.

I was 16.

And naive.

And foolish.

And maybe deep down I wanted to be liked, rather than made fun of. 

Not A Chance

The relationship was doomed from the start. He treated me poorly before we dated, and funny enough, He was only slightly kinder while we dated. I wasn’t very good at proselytizing and the more we were together, the more insecure I became. Jesus had my heart and I simply couldn’t be the non-churchy, “bad girl” this boy wanted. When he came wise to that fact, we split ways–he then proceeded to humiliate me whenever the opportunity arose. If he wasn’t around to do it, one of his buddies from the locker room made sure to get his digs in.

I switched lunch tables. I walked the long way to class to avoid passing his locker. I stayed out of that store he worked in at the mall. Soon after we split, he took up with a new girl. I felt sorry for her. She must have been as desperate as I was to date someone who treated girls so poorly–or maybe she wasn’t in love with Jesus. I don’t know.

It’s only as an adult that I am able to finally look back and see that his rejection of me wasn’t so much personal, as it was a rejection of my faith, a rejection of this Jesus who seemed to be everywhere I was. Jesus came between me and a few potential dating disasters. It wasn’t easy wearing the banner “church girl”. I embraced it with a smile from 7AM-2PM, Monday through Friday, but most days it was pure relief getting home after school.

Recounting this now, all these years feels a little strange. I hadn’t thought about it until Ed asked if I had something to contribute to this Hazardous link up. What does this have to do with anything now–I’m happily married to a man who not only loves me, but even more,  loves Jesus wholeheartedly. You could call me “church girl” all day long and twice on Sunday and it would be true and I wouldn’t care.

But at 16, it burned like a scarlet letter.

Following Jesus is hazardous. The bible is plain about this, repeatedly in scripture.

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Mark 13:13

However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 1 Peter 4:16

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 2 Timothy 3:12

The question is always the same, knowing what we know, that following Jesus can wreck your life in the best possible way, even though it may be painful–will you still follow Him?

Have you ever been rejected because of Jesus? What was that like?

I’m sharing My Hazardous Faith Story as part of a synchroblog connected with the release of Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper’s new book Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus.

I’m joining others who are also sharing their hazardous faith stories–you should too.


  1. Thanks for sharing this story Kris. It hit me the other day that the costs of following Jesus change during the different seasons of our lives. In high school, the acceptance of our peers is SO valuable. I’ve also found that Jesus often builds us up over time with new challenges. The strain of yesterday prepares us for the bigger lift of tomorrow.

    I got saved in Jr. High but didn’t start to live it out until high school. At the time I was attending a Catholic school where a Baptist REALLY didn’t fit in! Those were tough years, more from loneliness than teasing, but I think that was part of the cost of following Jesus during that season for me.

    1. This is so true, Ed. The cost changes as we grow up and as our faith deepens. And I am so thankful for the struggles that strengthen us for the journey ahead… reminds me of Hinds Feet On High Places. Such truth in the trials and rejectsion of the journey. The destination, however, makes it So worthwhile, not to mention the traveling companion we have every step of the way. Your book, Hazardous, and Mary’s book, Everything, are blessing me SO much right now! Thank you for this!!

  2. maria chamorro

    Wow! I have goodsebumps because as a new Christian (since 2008), I wish I would have found God WAY before I did and I could have avoided so many heartbreaks and troubles, disilusions and in general, sin. Which is why I have made it my mission via my blog, to talk about being a single Christian, before and after I foundd God. Love this!
    Angie @ Beauty of One

    1. Thanks for your honesty. Even looking back, I can see the amazing way God redeems our bad decisions and grows us through our failures–thankful for His mercy and love, in spite of the mess. Bless you!

  3. Oh to be protected from trouble. At age 16 I worked at a fast food place that had some satanists. They wanted me to come to one of their meetings — I knew it wasn’t really me they wanted, but Jesus. Thankfully I said no. Hadn’t thought of that in a long time 🙂

  4. Ohhhh….Kris. Thank you for this. “It’s only as an adult that I am able to finally look back and see that his rejection of me wasn’t so much personal, as it was a rejection of my faith, a rejection of this Jesus who seemed to be everywhere I was” I am funnily enough, just beginning to hold my own experience with this, and I wasn’t prepared enough as I assumed I would be. My experience isn’t in dating form, but rejection from certain people altogether. And rejection of that kind digs poisonous barbs in my paper-thin skin. I just emerged from a season that ended with a hurting heart and confusion. I’ve always read the verses you mentioned, and some similar to it, yet I think I’ve never taken them as seriously as I should – at least, not acknowledging how personally it WOULD apply to me someday.

    God KNEW I needed to read this. Last night I was thinking back on that season. And you have reminded me to stick and stand firm. Knowing the Light I am to follow, and the only opinion to crave – the one who will never reject me nor throw me underway.

    Oh I am both convicted and greatly strengthened. Thank you Kris. Thank you.


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