Sharp About Your Prayers

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The State of Your Faith

February 9th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

Do me a favor. Please take 10 minutes at some point today and consider this question: “How’s your faith?”

Here’s how I suggest you proceed. Go somewhere quiet — somewhere you will not be interrupted. Close your eyes. Now, take the pulse of your soul. Ask yourself, “How would I describe the current state of my faith?”

As you consider the question, try to be specific and candid. Choose the most fitting, most honest adjectives.
  • Is my faith growing, or shrinking?
  • Is it engaged, or yawning?
  • Is it mystical, or highly rational?
  • Is it far in the background of my daily life, or a clear lamp on my path?
  • Is my faith stuck in a rut, or is it changing? Is the way I relate to Christianity, the Bible and the hymns of the church different than it was a year ago? Ten years ago?
I would love to hear your responses. Feel free to leave a comment below.
There are no wrong answers. We are all on a journey that has zigs and zags to it.

This Sunday we are going to talk about the paths on which we find ourselves. So I really want to know: “How’s your faith?”

See you in worship,

SBJ
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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Joy CanfieldNo Gravatar

    My faith has indeed grown of late, perhaps most notably in these recent months. So often I gratefully quote you, Scott, in my sessions with clients, that is, “Don’t squander adversity.” The next part of your sermon message has been that in adversity there is an opportunity to reach to God and allow him to work. With all clients in therapy, there may not be Christian faith. Yet there is indeed something in which they believe – their foundational truths tend to be for what they reach within their tool boxes. Seeing these folks grab their fundamental tools in the presence of adversity is yet another reminder to me that in adversity there is an opportunity – a unique message, every time. In grappling with discerning this message, there is an inevitable opportunity for growth. Most of my clients believe in something – at the root of it, there is usually a belief in love. And at the root of most faiths is love. Thus even when things haven’t always gone well for us in love, somehow we retain the belief in love and the hope for more love. In this, there is a belief in something we cannot see, that is, we have faith. And in my belief that God is Love, all I am charged with is to love others. In this I love God; in this I increase my faith in God. Fear certainly has a way of getting humans to do things opposing their beliefs. Desire can do that too. It’s tough sometimes to love people who have a different idea. It can be really really tough. But I think we can do it. It’s really easier to love — and to have faith in love.

    • SBJNo Gravatar

      Thank you, Joy. I do think it is true that our faith both gives perspective and gains strength in the face of hard times. We don’t like to think that suffering and hardship are therapeutic, as if God is intentionally running us through the wringer, but it is just plain true. Challenging seasons can deepen our faith and strengthen our character. At the very least, they can increase our empathy! Bless you.

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