image from crunchynat.wordpress.com
Faith is one of those things that has different meanings to different people. Sadly, being a person of faith or as some call it, a “religious” person has become some- thing that is considered almost an insult. People are denigrated because they do have faith or do believe in God. I think this is because the range of what faith means to people is very wide. Some are extreme, legalistic people of religion, some are what some people call hypocritical religious people who practice their faith on church days and then live like they want on other days and some are just plain, simple folks who believe in the teachings of Jesus. I am the last one.
We all know the traditional view of faith as in faith in God and heaven but the standards by which people practice their faith varies and some are very judgmental and harsh towards those that do not believe like they do. I follow what Jesus taught and that is to “love thy neighbor as thyself” and to treat others with love, compassion and care. I have learned many things that I was taught were in the Bible were not actually so. It did not shatter my faith in God or the Bible. It empowered me to learn that I could study and read the Bible myself and learn what it really says.
There is also a different type of faith that incorporates life and belief in oneself and that has to do with faith in oneself. So often, people will not attempt things because they are afraid they are not capable. To me, that is a lack of faith in oneself…in one’s ability to do. I have faith that I will wake up each morning. I have faith that I will be here just as long as God intends me to be. I have faith that I am strong enough in my beliefs that it does not matter what others may say against what I believe. I can remember times when I did not have faith in myself and was afraid to venture outside my little world. I did not have faith that I was smart enough or talented enough or good enough to do certain things.
image from mariashriver.com
I see people who get frantic, ready to fight, and even paranoid if someone dares to disagree with what they believe in. Perhaps it is the sage wisdom of so many years of dealing with life and the physical issues I have, but I sit and think “What are you afraid of? What are you really afraid of that you can not allow someone to disagree with what you believe in? Are you afraid they might convince you that what you believe is not so? Are you afraid that they will convince others that what you believe is not so? Do you not have faith in your own beliefs?”
I think when we have faith in our beliefs, in what we do…then it does not matter what anyone says. I do not have to prove them wrong to make me right. I just have to believe in myself and my beliefs. And what if they say something that makes me re-think what I believe? Is that so bad? I think that is how we grow and learn. So what If I discover that part of something I believe in is not so good. Does that make it all bad? No, it does not. Nothing is perfect.
Faith comes in many forms. I have faith that the sun will come up every day. I have faith that night will follow day. I have faith that heating food will cook it and make it safer. I have faith in my son to take care of me. Will he be perfect at it? No, but that does not mean he does not do a good job. It means I look at life realistically and do not try to turn something into a fairy tale. I have faith that my other son loves me. Does that mean he has to call me every minute of every day? I have faith that my beliefs about God are right for me. No. I have faith in my new doctors. Does that mean they will do every thing exactly like I want? No. It means I believe in their ability to take the best care of me..
The biggest thing about faith is to have faith in yourself and in what you believe and to have faith enough in yourself that it does not threaten your self-confidence for someone to disagree with you. When you have faith in yourself, you will not be shattered if you learn that what you believed turns out to not be true. You are able to say “I was wrong” and change your view and go on with life. Our beliefs are not written in stone and as we grow in life, so will our beliefs change and grow. Have faith in yourself for even if you fall, it is not the end of the world. You just get up, dust yourself off and start again.
image from www.ionlove.net
No comments yet.