Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What is Faith?

There was an interesting devotional this morning from the Purpose Driven Life people. Here's a quote:

"To many Christians, “faith” means sincerely believing something is true when you don’t have any evidence. In fact, faith is acting on what you know full well is true: God is able to keep his promise and can be trusted to do it. Faith that is only theoretical conviction isn’t faith yet. Real faith – living faith, saving faith – does something about it."

I can relate to that first sentence. For years I heard the mantra that "faith IS the evidence." If you believe it, it is true. If doubt, you're in trouble. If you believe, it will happen. If it doesn't happen, you must not have believed. It was also impossible to have faith in something that you knew for sure. In a sense, if you already knew it was true, it wasn't faith: it was just a fact. The idea that God is able to keep His promise and can be trusted... that was very much a conditional thing. God would do what he promised IF we played the game right, and it was extremely easy to get disqualified on a technicality.

Now, doing something about it: that's one I can relate to. I have no problem understanding that faith is meaningless if it is all in your head (or even your heart). If it doesn't influence your life, it's not faith, it's just an idea.

So that begs the question -- if something influences your life, is that what you have faith in, even if you say you don't believe it?