Recently, I've read a few articles that have mentioned my Alma Mater, Liberty University, some giving praise to the school and others harshly criticizing it, but what stung the most were the comments made by people at the end of the articles. I knew people didn't like the school, but to read the attacks made on the students and graduates was kind of upsetting for me.
There were comments made that said no one should ever employ a graduate from Liberty because their education was sub-par and narrow-minded given the evangelical nature of their education. It stung for people to basically make a claim about me and my ability to participate in society because of where I attended school without knowing me or seeing my abilities. It made me feel like I wasn't good enough, that I didn't measure up. And then I was a little angry, because these people made statements about me being ignorant out of their own ignorance, and they accused me of being narrow-minded because my belief system doesn't mesh with their belief system. The irony of these comments are not lost on me, but it doesn't ease the sting.
Thankfully, I know who I am, I know Whose I am, I know what I have accomplished despite my so-called "sub-par" education, and I know that I don't have to argue with these people to prove myself to them. Words prove nothing, instead, I hope that my actions and the way I live demonstrate how untrue the comments made by those people really are.
I knew that people felt that way, but I just hadn't really exposed myself to it recently. I heard it often when I was at Liberty, and even when I first started working. I was aware that people didn't think my school was quite on the same level of other schools, and I was even more aware that peole were watching my every move and judging me, but it wasn't until reading those comments that I was reminded how people felt. It reminds me of what Christ warned His disiples of in the last days. He said that His people would be despised and rejected by men. But He also, taught us through Paul, that when we suffered at the hands of those who hated us, we were to count it pure joy. I don't know that it's easy to find joy in people tearing you down, but it does make me want to work harder to prove what Dr. Falwell always said, "If it's Christian, it should be better." I'm willing to be held to the higher standard that society has set, and prove to them that they're wrong, not by arguing or retaliating with name-calling or attacking the other person's charater, but by loving God, staying true to my faith and beliefs no matter the cost, and loving people, even those who hurt me, because that is what Christianity is really about and that is what I was taught every day while I was at Liberty.