Thinking about my faith today.
Where do I need to grow?
One thing is sure; I don’t feel I have as much faith as I wish I did. Then again how would I know? Can we know? Or does that evaluation come from God? Is He the only one who really knows? And what criteria does He use?
What is there about the people whose faith I admire that appeals to me? Is it the words they use? Is it how they live? What names come to mind when I think about those whose faith I admire?
Does my name come to mind to other people?
Lots of questions. Not a lot of answers.
I think faith looks different on different people. Just like there are different personalities, there are different “faith personalities” to coin a new term. And it might depend on what area of our lives we are talking about. I have lots of faith in some areas. In others, not so much.
I guess for me, when I think about what the attributes of faith look like, it boils down to these attributes: transparency, humility, and credibility.
- Transparency. People whose faith I admire are real people. They don’t try to impress others with their self-proclaimed faith. In fact, they seldom actually talk about their faith. About God, yes. About their own personal faith, seldom.
When they do, it’s appropriate to the situation. They will probably reference God in many different ways but it’s always about God, not about them.
When I encounter them in public, they are just the same as they are in church settings. When they hurt, they don’t pretend they don’t. When they are confused, they don’t pretend they’re not. And when they doubt, they’re willing to express it. To me that’s transparency.
- Humility. They admit to their shortcomings but not in an “I’m so unworthy” kind of attitude. Some of my favorite authors are good examples of the kind of humility that appeals to me. Some of them use humor. They are: John Ortberg, Andy Stanley, James McDonald, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, and many others. Read their books if you get a chance and you’ll know what I mean.
- Credibility. This is not much different from transparency but it is a little harder to discern. To me it consistency of behavior. Now I’ll agree we can’t see behind closed doors. There is sometimes a great dichotomy between what a person does in private and what they do in public. But if we pay close attention, there are all kinds of clues. People are not as clever as they think.
If you ever meet me, I hope I will come across to you exactly as I appear here. I don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not which I hope is coming through loud and clear with my blog. (Hmm, maybe too loud and clear?)
Sometimes it’s good to sit back and take stock of where we are in our faith. I think that’s what we pray, “Search, me, oh, God…..” Psalm 139:
We needn’t feel bad if we fall short. Doesn’t anyone? Examination is meant to encourage us, never to condemn us. If we’re feeling condemned, it isn’t God.
God bless and have a good day.