Obsessive- Christianity Disorder
...and for me, there was as much unlearning as learning.
Fear. Guilt. Pressure. These were the motivators that hooked me early on and nearly killed me. Killed me? Yeah, I had close encounters with death or serious injury a few times. I took a two-by-four to the head once in a dangerous neighbourhood while street evangelizing. Another time, I was thrown to the pavement by a drug dealer whom I was trying to convert.
Committed? You bet. But committed to what? Although I'd stand up on the subway and preach to the entire train car, I was still empty inside. Despite my willingness to go door-to-door witnessing in my own neighbourhood, I really had no life of fulfillment to offer. Whether I was preaching on a train, in neighbourhoods, or even in the local jail, there was always an underlying anxiety.
I grew up with a flavour of the gospel that assured me I was going to heaven, but that didn't help with the present turmoil. I was afraid God was so thoroughly disappointed with my performance that he wouldn't use me, grow me, or 'have fellowship' with me. Voices around me only confirmed that I was falling short and needed to strive yet again to meet the standard.
You wouldn't have known any of this bothered me, because I never let it show. But after four years of not being considered for the Christian Character Award at school, it got to me. The key to winning that award was to be quiet or even shy. Those who didn't say much at all were labeled 'meek'. The problem for me was that my personality didn't fit the requirements. I had a personal relationship with Christ. I knew my Bible better than many. And I really cared about my friends at school. But I was the class clown and the life of the party. Humour and Christian character just didn't mix."