In the world today it seems that it is almost wrong to believe in God. It is almost as if it is shameful to believe. How can we stop feeling shame in believing?
I know I should not feel ashamed but sometimes people make me feel ashamed that I believe in God.
If you are associating with people who make you feel ashamed to believe in God, I suggest you find new friends.
If they are people you can’t escape from — coworkers or relatives — I suggest you walk away when people speak disrespectfully of the Divine. Don’t engage in arguments that you can’t win and that will only leave you feeling discouraged or downcast.
(Yogananda urged devotees to avoid like poison the company people whose auras are filled with negativity.)
If you can’t separate yourself physically, then just withdraw inwardly. In the moment, pray to God fervently to give you the strength to resist their false ideas.
At this point on your spiritual journey, your faith is fragile and needs to be protected from the harsh doubts of others – just as a small tree is surrounded by a fence until its roots are deep and its trunk has thickened. Once you are established, nothing will shake your faith. But for now, be careful.
Paramhansa Yogananda said, “Whether one’s energy goes outward to the world or upward toward God depends to a large extent on the company you keep.”
If possible, find groups or individuals that support you in your faith and spend your free time with them. If you can’t find anyone in person, then consider making connections online. (One good resource is Ananda Online, or visit the website of Ananda India.)
There are many resources that you can make your spiritual community. Even when you are physically alone, you can be in the company of uplifted teachers through their books, recordings, and music.