My dear readers – it’s time for a little rant. Every day, I get on FB and I see posts from people who are overly pushy in their faith. I mean pages and pages from one person giving an entire theology class on what they believe. What is worse is the fear I have that I have joined the extreme-views area of the internet like others I know. I truly hope not! I hope that the honesty and simple faith that you expect from me is still present. But I don’t know for sure, honestly, I don’t. So, I worry about it.
As I have been considering how my faith is perceived, I thought about removing my faith entirely from my blogging. But, then again, I am not sure. Is that the right choice? I thought about this for quite a while. What I came up with instead is what I consider to be the simple theologies that shape my faith. Yes, my life, my writing and my coaching is now focused on ‘simplifying the chaos,’ and I want to share with you my ‘simple,’ non-converting, extremely personal faith. It may not be your methods, but it is my way, and it brings incredible peace and joy to live this way.
1) I Want A Faith That Claims An Unwavering Peace.
Peace, to me, is one of the biggest characteristics of someone who lives life with God. For instance, Paul stated that we are to allow Christ’s peace to rule in us and that we are ‘called to peace (Col 3:15).’ Psalms states that one of the blessings given to God’s people is to have peace. And, yet, how many times do we live in unwavering peace? I know, the littlest things can cause my peace to dissipate. How about you? 1 Peter 3:11 states that we should ‘seek peace and pursue it,’ Do you think that your life is known for seeking, running after, never taking anything less than peace?
I want to be known for having a peace, a peace that makes people question what is different about me. I want that peace to be my mark of Christianity, not my ability to debate, not my willingness to fight someone over ‘truth.’ I hope I live in a way that makes them desire to step into my circle and find out that it is my God who makes the peace they are seeing. As I was researching for this blog, I found these 2 lists, one list is the Bible verses that talk about peace and the other is practical ways to create peace in your own life. Check them out, maybe they will bless you –
2) I Want A Faith That Stands With A Quiet Strength
As I was writing this, I thought about movies I have seen that has inspired my faith. I know we tend to think of movies which show the ‘big moment conversion.’ You know- where everything works out perfectly. But, when I was thinking about my faith, I think of movies that show strength. The movie that came to mind was “Secretariat,” a movie about a middle-aged woman who chose to go against all odds to follow a gut feeling her faith gave her… and through it all, she found strength to believe and keep trying.
Here is what my faith connected with – it was her determination to follow through with the impossible… and to do it with a positive attitude. Her quiet strength and faith is showed through small elements in the movie, such as the song ‘happy day’ being played in the background and the reference to Job 39:22-25 is seen 2 times in the movie. You see her taking care of her family, running a business and standing among the prevailing leaders of the day with nothing but her faith and a determination to see it through to the end. But look at the difference her faith made! These elements were put in the movie, not for theatrics, but because it showed who she was. Years later, this lady’s faith is still inspiring people as her story of faith is told through the triumph of a horse that nobody believed in.
“This isn’t about going back, it’s about life being ahead of you and you run at it! Because you never know how far you can go unless you run.”
― Penny Chinery (Secretariat)
Here is a great blog that talks about some of the leadership and character qualities that can be learned from this incredible movie. http://briandoddonleadership.com/2010/10/09/16-leadership-principles-and-quotes-from-secretariat/
I Want A Faith That Keeps Me Humble. Humility goes beyond religion and can truly impact all areas of your life. According to an article on the website, BecomingMinimalist.com, humility can give you the ability to appreciate others, to respect, to listen, and it even decreases judgement of others (If you want to read his full article, here is the link – http://www.becomingminimalist.com/the-hidden-power-of-humility/). Do you see that these character traits sounds like what a Christian claims to be?
I feel like I can add gratitude to that list of how humility benefits us. I do not feel that I will ever emphasis enough how much gratitude in my prayers means to my faith. Prayer allows access to the one I say created me, and gratitude shows that you don’t take advantage of that access. Humility is the one word that covers both of these aspects, and I promise you, it makes a huge a difference in how we treat others. It can even make a difference in how quickly our prayers are answered, as I talk about in this blog, “How Gratitude Changes Our Lives.”
Look, I can’t say I am a great Christian, I know I mess it up more than I can ever get it right. I literally know that I shouldn’t be having my mini rant. But still, I hope you see in my faith and my desires something that inspires you and helps you to refocus on keeping a simple faith and staying true to what first led you to pursuing a relationship with God. That’s all I wanted to express. Do you have a rant you want to share in the comments? Go for it!