Friday, November 14, 2008

Choice Equals Faith

I was recently asked to expand on the idea of faith as it pertains to the life of a Christian.

I take a fairly straightforward approach to faith. The simplest example I have used is turning on a light. The act of flicking the switch is a demonstration of faith. That may not sound like some deeply mysterious, mystical experience. Some would even say it is not faith because I knew for sure that it would work. But that is my point. That is a demonstration of true faith. When Jesus healed someone or when He multiplied the loaves and fishes he knew that these things would happen with an even greater certainty (faith) than turning on a light. (The light bulb could have been burned out.)

What led up to this assurance of faith? This confidence that exemplified everything that He did. It was His choice to always abide in His father’s heart and will. His acts of faith were never greater than His moment by moment living His life. There was no less faith in operation when He simply sat with his friends enjoying their company. He didn’t need to perform to show his faith. He didn’t need a miracle to know who He was. He did what He did each day as a complete abandonment of himself to His father.

His first 30 years of life were simply lived out like any other Jewish man. He worked, had friends and took care of His family. He obeyed all of the law since the laws were simple choices or acts of faith. For these things His father was well pleased with Him.

The simplicity of knowing our heavenly Father’s will: love mercy, act justly and walk humbly is available as a choice to everyone of us. Sadly, many people rebel at these choices and become angry or distant from God. They see others not making these choices and somehow think that they can use those examples to opt out of the Father’s will. They don’t really make choices but simply react with fight or flight mechanisms. Living by faith is not something they consider as they are simply swept along by peer pressure or personal reactions to outside forces.

Relationships are not valued but are simply something to be used for their own personal agendas. This happens with Christians and non Christians alike. They might demand others to do the things they do, violating the very concept of choice. Faith is minimized and conformity or anarchy are what typifies their life.

None of us are immune from fight or flight reactions to circumstances. These reactions simply have nothing to do with faith.

Faith isn’t perfection and can make mistakes. We may not always get it right but that is also the point. Choosing to walk in humility (a cornerstone of faith) allows us to admit the mistakes and make better choices. Choosing mercy and justice allow us to interact with others without living under the tyranny of merely reacting.

Will this living by faith look the same for everyone? Of course not. Embracing the differences of how people live a life of faith is what should truly unite us.

Living by faith is simply making real choices about why we do what we do.

1 comment:

Jamie A. Grant said...

"Choice equals faith." I like it. Yeah, I tend to think that our actions speak louder than our words...