Passages: 1 Corinthians 13:13, 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:13
LIVING BY FAITH. LIVING MY FAITH.
“Sin is: in despair not wanting to be oneself before God.
Faith is: that the self in being itself and wanting to be itself is grounded transparently in God.”
I really want my FAITH to matter beyond the ethereal. I need it to matter in my everyday, mundane, ordinary life. I want to know what it looks like to live by faith, to live my faith outside of church?
According to Soren Kierkegaard, it seems like the opposite if faith is not doubt, it’s self. It’s putting self – or anything else – at the center of my life: it unanchors my life and my identity, pushes me off balance. It’s what Augustine referred to as “disordered loves”.
Living for self amounts to me trying to save myself – which, it turns out, is beyond my paygrade.
If I put my family at the center of my life – I will be shattered if they are not picture perfect.
If I put wealth or status at the center – I will disdain and pity the poor and marginalized.
If it’s my tolerance – I will, ironically, be intolerant of those less tolerant than me.
If it’s my political party – the other side of the aisle becomes my opponent or enemy.
If it’s my race – then I will see other races as inferior to mine.
And on and on.
It’s an ugly list.
Living by FAITH is total trust and confidence in God to save me, to remake me – “the old is gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17) Wait, that’s not exactly right, it’s believing that He has already done that! I am new, today…and tomorrow. So I no longer have to be intimidated by others. I don’t have to see them as opponents or enemies or less-than or better-than. I have the ability to see them and love them as their Creator does.
Living by FAITH is the freedom to – daily – step out of the center of my life, away from the tyranny of MYSELF, and into the lives of the people that God has placed within my reach, my touch – my family, my neighbors, my office – with the grace and love that has been so kindly and generously given to me.
Living by FAITH is living open and transparent before God, to “stand naked before Him in amazed belief”.*
It is my prayer for you and for me, that we would live by FAITH, by total trust and confidence in God; that we would more and more every day be “seized by the power of His great affection”; that our SELF would find itself anchored and “grounded transparently in God”.
Recall the time, place, process of how and when you became a “new creation”. Celebrate that with the Father, Son, and Spirit.
Spend some time answering this question: How can God use your work today, this week, this year to love and care for His world that you touch?
I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2.
*From the song When I Look to the Mountains by Randy Stonehill.