Everyday faith. Is faith something that pertains only to the “spiritual” realm; i.e. God, heaven, Jesus, Christian living, etc.? While I believe that we are “saved by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8), I am also becoming aware that the need for faith or trust is woven into the fabric of everything we do as humans. Faith is necessary to operate in the “seen” world in which we live as well as the “unseen” realities of God and heaven.
We don’t use the word faith very much to describe the attitude or mindset with which we deal with everyday life, do we? Then, what are some other words, some synonyms we use in everyday language to talk about our attitude toward things, people, and God? What about trust, believe, and confident? Do you have another word you substitute for faith?
What are you saying about the person or thing when you use trust, believe, or confidence in relation to them? What are you saying when you use a negative with one of these words? For example, recently I cautioned my son-in-law about driving my old Jeep,
“Steve, I don’t trust the gas gauge on the Jeep.” Or, as I’ve often said concerning some politicians, “I don’t believe a thing he’s saying. Do you know how you can tell he’s lying? His lips are moving.”
What is the central quality of the person or thing we say we believe, trust, have faith, or confidence in? It seems that some folks believe, trust, or put their confidence in political candidates simply because of the R or D associated with their name. Others simply follow the advice of a favorite actor or singer without questioning the veracity of what they say. Here’s a novel idea, at least it has worked well for me for a long time. What about the idea of reliability or dependability? Yes, that’s it. RELIABILITY. DEPENDABILITY. Here’s a really good article about the importance of these qualities https://medium.com/illumination/what-is-the-importance-of-reliability-and-dependability-997b9fb0911
Here’s what I’m talking about in everyday faith terms. There are a couple of men I meet for lunch occasionally. We set a time to meet and neither of them has ever failed to show up. They are on time or a bit early. I never have to sit around and wonder if they are going to show. They keep their word, they do what they say. These little things say something about people and things in my life. Let’s explore this idea of everyday faith as it relates to things, people, and God.
Everyday faith in things. Trust or faith is operative in practically everything you and I do. Without it we would be frozen in a state of overwhelming fear and inactivity. Think about how literally true this is. Your very life depends upon your ability to trust the safety of the food you eat and the water you drink. If you do not trust they are safe and refuse to eat or drink you will eventually die of hunger or thirst.
Think further about how ordinary living requires a certain amount of faith. Are you sitting down as you read this? You must trust the chair or whatever you are sitting on to hold you up. Did you sleep in a bed last night? Few things in our life are trusted like our bed. When you lie down do you tense your muscles in an attempt to support yourself while you sleep? Of course not, instead you lie down with an abandon, giving your tired body to the comfort of your bed. Resting is one of our greatest exercises of practical faith.
Where would we be without the constancy and reliability of the things we trust in life? As I take a break from typing I rest my elbows on my desk. I just take for granted the desk will support me. I am very comfortable doing this because somehow I learned my desk is dependable and will easily tolerate the weight I put on it. What if this were not true of all the things we rely on without question?
We need practical things such as a car, appliances, tv, merchandizers, repair services, church leaders, teachers, politicians, and medical professionals who are competent and reliable.
Everyday faith in people is even more important than our faith in things in our life. Our relationships are the most valuable things we have. We can make do with an inconsistent car that won’t start from time to time. But, what about a spouse or child who deliberately lies or treats you disrespectfully? There is no more important or closer relationship than marriage. And, there is no more critical issue in marriage than trust. How is trust built? It is earned through thoughtful, deliberate actions that prove our faithfulness to the one to whom we have made our marriage vows. It not only includes sexual fidelity but also actions and attitudes that look out for the growth and best interest for your spouse.
Some people enter marriage with a very low trust factor. They have been exposed to family issues that did not encourage trust and therefore enter marriage with an ample supply of trust. It often happens that the untrusting partner transfers this attitude of lack of trust into the marriage. The partner in such a situation must realize they must pay close attention to this challenge and work consistently to “earn” the trust of their partner. This process can take years but the effort is worth it. There is very little in life that compares to a trusting relationship between a man and a woman.
Here’s a brief blog I did sometime ago about how our heart and head have to function if we really want to build trust in our marriage.https://www.cosdavis.com/trust-factor-marriage-part-five/
This picture is a good illustration of how trust is developed between a parent and child. The son is allowed to “spread his wings” as the dad holds him securely. One of the greatest joys and responsibilities in the life of a parent is to be able to live and relate to your child in such a way that your everyday faith will invite your child to trust you.
Faith is vital to everyday living, isn’t it? Well, it’s also important in our health and the way we see life. So, in future weekly blogs I will be dealing with some of these critical questions: What is faith? What is “saving” faith? How is faith developed? How do we come to faith in God? What is the difference between belief and faith? How does faith affect the way we live?
These are just a few things for you to “chew on’ ’til next time. Thanks for reading. I always appreciate hearing from you. Questions or suggestions are always welcome. Cos