A White Bread Faith
By Ryan Duncan
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.- 1 John 3:10
When I was still in high school my mother became a vegetarian. Now, I have nothing but respect for vegetarians, but as a guy who likes his steaks extra-rare, this created a few problems in our household. Suddenly our family was exploring what people called “organic” dishes. Tofu, quiche, we dined on whole-grain pasta sprinkled with nuts, strange cheeses, and enough broccoli to kill an entire fourth-grade class. It wasn’t all that bad actually; my mother was very gracious and still cooked meat for the carnivores in the house, but I suspect a soy-based meat substitute found its way into our meals on more than one occasion.
The worst part though, was the bread. My family went from using your typical sleeve of wheat bread to buying those thick, iron cast loaves so brown they were almost black. I can remember sitting in the cafeteria during lunch, watching my classmates as they flagrantly devoured their delicious, white-bread PB&J’s, while I chewed the same bite of sandwich over and over for almost an hour because chunks of grain were still floating around in it. Back then, I would have given anything for a sandwich made from white, Wonder Bread.
The thing is though, ask any nutritionist and they’ll tell you white bread barely counts as grain at all. It tastes good, but that’s because it’s been almost entirely drained of nutrients. All the beneficial vitamins and minerals have been lost, and in the end, we are left with food that really isn’t as healthy as we’d like to think it is.
How many of us Christians are looking for a “White Bread” relationship with God? We show up at Church on Sunday and pray before each meal, then tell ourselves that should be enough to help us grow in our faith. It’s a sweet deal with all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks. Don’t fool yourself; God wants to be so much more in our lives than our Sunday morning service. He is looking to make us lights of the world, to bring peace where there is strife, hope where there is despair, and grace where there is hate. You won’t be very prepared for that if you just stick to the Sunday Sermons. Don’t deny yourself a good, healthy, relationship with God. Read the Bible, get involved, and above all, be sure to make him a part of your daily life.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Find ways to get involved with your home church. Volunteer for events, or try mentoring some of the younger students. Parents, are your children involved in a youth group? Encourage them to give it a try.
Further Reading: Revelation 3:15-17
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."