Have you outgrown your faith? Humble beginnings or “milk” as Paul calls it in 1 Cor.3:2, is pretty much where we all start as we begin our faith journey. Progressing from a beginning, immature faith where “Now I lay me down to sleep” and “God is great, God is good” is the best we can do and moving towards a faith that is maturing is not an automatic transition for many and it can be problematic as well. For better or worse, we all have been conditioned from our earliest exposure to God that 1) God is good; 2) God rewards good and punishes evil; and 3) God answers prayer. These things are all essentially true, but unpacking them in light of what we experience in the pressures and rigors of adult life can give rise to questions and concerns about how faith fleshes out and even if the basic tenets of “our” faith are true.
We’ve all doubted the goodness of God when we experience sadness, aloneness or suffering, or when God or life just doesn’t seem “fair.” (Which it is not) Just how and when does God reward “good” and when is he going to right the wrongs against me? Understanding how God “answers” prayers sometimes can seem like the Magic 8 Ball which responds Yes! No! Wait! or Ask Again Later! None of these faith “starter kits” prove very satisfying when we’ve had a good dose of life. What if you or some adult you know was just starting to investigate the claims of our Christian faith? We tend to find that many of these “absolutes” need deeper explaining to be palatable. “The bible says” is not an adequate starting point or returning point for many adults and, can you blame them?
Believers in the earliest days had no written recordings, no New Testament. They believed because of what was explained to them by people they knew and trusted . . . people who knew Jesus. It may not be too different now. Most people don’t read the bible even though it is readily accessible. Are there non-believers in your web of relationships? Are you equipped to listen to where they are coming from with their faith questions and offer more than “pat” platitudes? Are you able to say “I don’t know” when you don’t or when scripture is “grey?” Would you agree that using your bible and good study aids and having a healthy sense of wonder need to be part of a growing believer’s “faith kit?” Think About It.