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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Ultimate Faith Choker

Which “thorn of worry” is most likely to choke your faith?

a.  finances
b.  failure
c.  family problems
d.  what others think
e.  health
f.  fear of death
g.  the future

(Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1357).

The most powerful threat to my faith comes down in the end to “what others think”. All the other possible sources of adversity from “failure” to “the future” all ultimately have a social approval component. Even “health” is influenced by this for it is a desperate situation if you are ill and no one cares. And finances often falter if our social environment is sterile, callous, or unrealistic.

Jesus had a thick skin and could take loads of public criticism. Yet, even so his ultimate faith is that a harvest of souls was out there and could be gathered—he had faith that mankind in the end would be amenable to salvation. Thus, faith in others gave even the Son of God hope and the drive to keep going.

For Christians the fear of death itself is greatly subdued by the knowledge that a grand reunion of our friends and love ones will transpire after death. And “failure” is declawed if we know that those dear to us love us still and are willing to buy into our redemptive rationalizations regarding what otherwise would amount to an irreparable loss of face.

Now I intentionally left out of this discussion that Christians are hunky-dory so long as God loves us even if no one else does. The hard fact of the matter is that it always matters a great deal what our human significant others think, period. Hope, faith, and love clearly do not emerge in a social vacuum.

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