When you think about faith and it’s impact on your life? What is the first thing that comes to your mind? What rises up in your flesh; as well as, your spirit? What do you take hold of as apart of your own beliefs? What do you cast off by the way side?
When one begins to think about faith, how did they come to a particular faith or lack of faith? Are you, merely, operating out of what you were taught by your parents? Perhaps, your faith is due to being born in a certain region of the world. No matter how you came to a particular belief system, you must learn something about you as a person. If you’re not learning and growing; you’re, fooling yourself!
“’Christians’ need to be asked some serious questions. I’m tired of how shallow most people’s faith is…”–Joshua Banks
The statement above came from a good friend of mine after an interesting conversation about knowing oneself. Particularly, how faith is a key component of knowing oneself. For me, it is the rudder steering the ship of my life. When I’m most aligned with my belief system, my ship is full steam ahead. At times, I find myself out of alignment for numerous reasons. Consequently, I experience difficulties with navigating the ship. The waters become murky. The waves are larger than life itself. Next thing you know, I’m way off course. Once I come to my senses, my faith is quickly restored. Now, I’m moving in the right direction.
All too often, we don’t study, practice, and teach our beliefs. When we neglect any or all of these, we can find ourselves in a position of not knowing who we are. We start acting and behaving in ways, which are not consistent with our character. Most importantly, not consistent with our professed system of faith. Or, we find ourselves going through the motions. Merely, faking it! What happens when we stop faking it?
When we begin to draw near to God, He draws near to us. If you’re not familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son, you can find it here. The story tells us about a young man, who left home with an inheritance. He went off to a far off place, where He was doing any and everything under the sun. At some point after wasting his inheritance, the son comes to himself and returns to his home. He had become unrecognizable. As he is approaching, his father recognizes him. Then, runs to receive him with open arms. Ultimately, the father throws a welcome home party for the son.
His identity was quickly restored through his actions. Despite his waywardness, he was the exact same person that his father always knew. His father knew, solely, based on their relationship. Despite the distance and the son’s behavior, their relationship hadn’t changed one bit for the father. The father knew himself. It was the son, who lost sight of himself.
At the same time, while this father and son is rekindling their relationship, the other son is having a case of amnesia brought on by his own identity crisis. He, too, didn’t know who he was to his father. And, he hadn’t left the house. He had been there the whole time, and didn’t recognize his own worth and value. He didn’t realize the love, that was ever present for him.
As a father, I can say that I love my two children equally. There’s no favoritism of one over the other. However, our relationships are very different. I see them as individuals. Therefore, I love them differently. But, I don’t love one more than the other. No matter what they do. I love them!
Back to the question at hand. What does my faith system tell me about myself? My faith tells me, that I’m loved by the most high. It tells me, that the Creator is delighted in me. That he knew me inside of my mother’s womb. With this knowledge, I understand that there’s nothing that I can do to add to it or take away from that love. And, as the song states “I’m fully known and loved!”