As Christians, we're always on a "growth line".
Here's a testimony example of the growth of a friend of ours. When he became a Christian, he still smoked, still drank, still did a lot of things that he did before he became a Christian. He told us that when a person becomes a Christian, God knocks off the rough edges first ... the smoking, drinking, carousing, fornication ... and then He begins to polish you as a gemstone. As He polishes you, His polishing gets finer and finer, so when people look at you, they don't have to question whether or not you are a Christian. It will show.
When you're a young Christian and still doing some of the "old things", people will use their judgmental spirit and question the validity of your Christianity. They may not see that God is working on you, knocking off those rough edges.
While you're going through "God's polishing", you may become severely hurt by people's comments to you. "We don't see any changes in you ... what do you mean 'You are a Christian?' You still do the same things you always did."
For a new Christian, this can be very discouraging and can cause a halting of your perseverance of pursuing your intimacy with Jesus. But as you grow in Jesus, your skin will thicken to the point where you don't pay any attention to the things they say ... your attention will be on Jesus and your intimacy with Him.
God knows what He's doing in you, and you will know what He's doing in you. This all ties in with developing your intimacy with Jesus.
Part of being polished is our free will wanting to follow after Jesus ... so wanting this intimacy with Jesus, wanting to be a better person, not being satisfied with who you were, the way you used to live, and the things you had pleasure in. That way is in the past ... it's passed!
Reverend Robert W. & Mary C. Butler