Faith is an interesting concept. It is, literally, to believe. Some people believe things like “you are what you eat” or “you oughta shake what your momma gave you.” In my “Bible belt” world, much of what we believe is indoctrinated, and one is shamed if they chose a different path. However, I am learning to appreciate acceptance. We are all different people who have had different paths behind us and have different paths in front of us.
Easter is an extra special time for me personally, because Easter 2000 marked the beginning of my personal walk with Christ. I was 10 years old and knew very little of what it meant to follow Christ – all I knew was that God was big and I wanted to know Him. This passion for the Lord has followed me throughout the last 13 years.
Part of growing up, I believe, is learning, not only how to truly live, but how to think for oneself. This is where the indoctrination part gets tricky. Do I believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of people and was raised from the dead, showing victory over the grave, and continues to live today? Absolutely. It’s the rest of it that gets shadowy. What all else do I truly believe and what am I skeptical of because of how it was taught to me? This uncertainty is unsettling because I, in all my C personality*, want to know.
I’m not sure if this was made better or worse by the fact that I have an undergraduate education from a Christian college. Don’t get me wrong, I love my college; I am just not sure how much of my personal beliefs were blindly followed from well-meaning and highly intelligent professors. I have always been a follower in regards to thoughts. I find it more comfortable to believe what one tells me than to investigate it on my own. I have a belief about myself that I over complicate things. Even simple concepts, such as resentments, simplicity, and fellowship are difficult for me to grasp. I make things more complicated than they are then believe that I cannot understand them – all the while, their complication stemmed from me!
Much more so do I believe Christianity is complicated. Everyone has their “break down” to simply beliefs. These “core” beliefs do not appeal to me. Whose core beliefs are true and whose are “made-up?” Where did they make them up – what is the ultimate truth, the real truth, the only truth I am interested in?
The desire for this “true” knowledge leads me back to the one place I know I can find truth. My Savior. When all of life seems to fall down around me, only Him can I trust to hold me up. When I am afraid and anxious about what the future holds for me and my family, He is the only one I can find comfort in. This Jesus I want to know. This Jesus is the one I seek.
Over the years, I have had many a Bible. Big ones, little ones – hard-cover, soft-cover – NIV, NKJV – ones with my name inscribed on the front, and ones I personally covered in duct-tape. I recently got another**. I want to seek this Jesus, and the best way I know to do so is to search the Scriptures.
I would love to find a church that is more focused on the truth of Christ and showing His love to people than programs, services, messages, songs, graphics, and teams. These churches outright make me angry. [I believe…] once your mission is corrupted by earthly pursuits, you are of little value to the Kingdom. So many churches turn people “off” and I hear it EVERY DAY! I do not claim to have the answers of how to mesh a human pursuit of proclaiming Christ with a heavenly method. And I have yet to find a “perfect church.”
What I desire is to find other people, like myself, who want a true knowledge of God and fellowship with one another that is not biased by “cultural acceptance” or “political correctness.” (Whew, I am literally getting so frustrated I could say some words… so, moving on.)
Our perceptions are subjective. Our perspectives are subjective. I am not interested in subjective. I am interested in ultimate truth (which I can only find through my perception – how frustrating). I do have faith that God will allow me to experience a true perception of ultimate truth. I am daily working on this because my “self” gets in the way of my spiritual desires. Lord, thank you for being forgiving, blessing, and honoring even of my small efforts. You always come through for me and I pray I can show others that your evident love for me is applicable to them as well.
Happy Easter Sunday, everyone.
*My “C” (compliance) personality is explained in the DISC personality assessment; SO helpful for understanding self and others. -https://www.discinsights.com/disc-theory#.UVhkWKV6MTM
**My new Bible is a NIV from Celebrate Recovery. “Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits.” -www.celebraterecovery.com; I encourage you to check it out.