Learning to Own It
- Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Your words and even actions will never align with your feelings because you have taken what was never yours to begin with and tried to build your life on it. This is a shaky foundation and not the same as owning your faith. Even if you’ve borrowed your faith, claiming your salvation comes from the roots of your family tree and believing being “born Christian” is your get-out-of-jail-free card, you are deceiving yourself. The Bible, which defines the Christian faith, says that faith isn’t about heredity, but relationship. We know this because of words like these found in the book of Romans: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Rom. 10:9–10 esv).
It’s all about you and not your family, or the fact that you were baptized as a baby. When you own your faith, it starts with your confession and not the confession of those who love you.
My Boring Christian Life: A lot of kids raised in Christian homes complain about the fact that they don’t have an amazing testimony like the people who were raised without faith and through some incredibly horrible situations found Jesus and now have amazing testimonies. Some bemoan their peaceful and uneventful lives and wish they could share an Oprah-worthy testimony about what God has done in their life. But alas, life has been pretty picture-perfect and God hasn’t really had to show Himself much, so no big stories exist. When that’s the case, it can be easy to feel like your faith isn’t so compelling and that you don’t have much to offer in the way of a story that would draw others into faith. And so you live a spiritually quiet life, not stepping out and proclaiming the amazing power of faith—not risking to question others’ beliefs or to offer them a lifeline in yours because after all, you reason, you don’t have an amazing story to share.
If that sounds like you, then you may have less to worry about than you may think. You see, you don’t have to give up the hope of a compelling testimony because what compels the nonbeliever isn’t your testimony about yourself, but about Him. If you say you still have no testimony about Him, then your faith may be weakened by the fact that you haven’t made it your own yet. But making it your own isn’t as hard as going back in time and having a different life story, so there is hope. ’
Now, if you say that you are content with a borrowed faith, don’t shut the book and walk away just yet—there is something here for you, just give it a chance. You’ve opened these pages for a reason. Allow God to show you what it is, just this once; allow Him to take you somewhere you never thought you wanted to go and see if He doesn’t come through for you. Borrowed faith is simply faith in the wrong thing. And that’s why it isn’t the kind of faith that changes your life.
It isn’t the kind of faith that overcomes adversity or changes the world, but when you own it, when you stop mooching and start possessing, the world inside you and around you changes dramatically.
When you rent something you make monthly payments, whereby you keep something and use it for yourself up until the time when you stop making payments. And at that time your use of the thing ends with your payments. You might make monthly or even yearly or weekly payments on your faith, going to church in order to feel Christian. You might talk about God, pray to God, read about God, and serve God, but if all of that is part of your “payment” for faith then you’re a renter, not an owner. An owner doesn’t have to make payments—their faith is theirs by virtue of who He is, not who they are or what they do or don’t do.
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