I’ve got faith. You’ve got faith. Everybody has some sort of faith. But do we actually know what we mean when we say we have faith? Ask the majority of the people and they will tell you that to have faith means to believe in something or someone without question. Without doubt or suspicion and be unwavering until the end.
I remember having a heated discussion with someone during a Bible study about the topic of faith. My friend believed that faith was what was stated above. But I disagreed. I believe faith isn’t about not questioning, but the exact opposite. True faith can only be attained through the process of questioning, analyzing, learning, understanding, and finally, believing. The pursuit of faith in the right manner will lead to a stronger and more stable faith foundation. However, not understanding and appreciating what faith is and how it should be practiced could lead to a sudden and traumatic collapse of one’s Christian life.
I believe that when one does not use faith and a questioning mind together, it could lead one astray. True faith comes hand in hand with a questioning mind. If said to you, ‘Hey friend, have you ever heard of the religion of the chair? Chairs are actually the true creators of the universe, but you must have unwavering faith.’ Of course your response would be, prove it! The Chicago Bulls did not give the last shot of a tied game to Michael Jordan because he told them he could make it. They gave him the last shot because time and time again he proved himself. Because of that, they have faith in him. If you enter a dark room in your friend’s house and he tells you the light switch is just to your left, do you believe him? You do, because you know your friend knows his house and you know that he would not lie to you, thus you have “faith,” so you stick your arm out and find the switch.
Therefore the definition of faith I live by is believing in someone because of past evidence and personal knowledge of that someone. True faith must pass the test of mind, spirit and heart. You must test every avenue with mind, heart and spirit until there is no doubt within you, asking why and how come. The more you learn about Jesus, the stronger your faith will be and the better your resistance to attacks on your faith.
Finding a stable foundation for and commitment to your faith will help you through those times when you are spiritually dry. One and one is always two. Your emotions make take you on a roller coaster, but as long as that roller coaster is founded on the bedrock of faith, you will be spiritually safe. Also, another advantage of this is that when your friend or colleague asks you about your faith you will have a solid explanation. Nothing is more disillusioning to a non-Christian than someone who doesn’t understand the basis of his faith.
So, have you got faith? I guess that’s something you have to decide.[Peter Yu can be reached at inChristcolumns@hotmail.com.]