Faith, Day by Day

(This is an excerpt from the eleventh chapter of my soon to be released book, Grappling with God: The Battle for Authentic Faith. This chapter introduces the importance of living by faith day by day. This book gives an account of the life transforming work we do at the Center for Christian Life Enrichment.)

…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances

Philippians 4:11b

 

Living by faith is not an easy road. Becoming more Christ-like stretches us in uncomfortable places, beyond our boundaries and over the thresholds of our old limits. We can no longer afford to be shut down in any part of our lives. To be like Christ is to be alive in all of it, in the joy, the pain, and the sorrow.

To live by faith is the process and purpose of this book, bringing together each of the stages of growth that we have discussed. We acknowledge that we are created to live in community; that our connections with others and within ourselves reflect the state of our relationship with God (and vice versa). We need grace and truth to open those places we’ve hidden inside where fear, sadness, anger, unworthiness, rejection, abuse, and abandonment have kept us from connecting fully with others. With grace and truth, we accept ourselves and each other just as we are.

Seeking to become more spiritually mature, we recognize the importance of our feelings. No longer satisfied to live in our heads in a world we think we can control, we risk feeling and expressing what’s in our hearts. Feeling more deeply our fear, sadness, and anger, we become more honest with ourselves and others, including God. Admitting our fears empowers us to develop the confidence to be open and vulnerable. Acknowledging our sadness and hurt, we affirm our hunger to connect with others. Learning to access our anger and express it responsibility, we assert ourselves in relationships without damaging our connections with others.

With purpose and intention, we embrace our responsibility to chose how we are going to live and who we are going to be. We give ourselves a sense of direction as we explore such questions as: where am I going, why am I here, what are my gifts, how am I going to give back… We commit to use our abilities and talents to love and support one another.  And, we know that questioning is necessary on the path to becoming more spiritually mature; that the paradox of abiding faith is also to have doubt.

No matter how far we’ve come, we remain works in progress. We continue to stretch and grow, experience setbacks and comebacks, and keep moving forward toward deeper truth, more authentic expression of our feelings, and greater connection within ourselves, and with others and God. In short, we grapple– wrestling with what it means to be human, to be in relationship, to be loved unconditionally by God.  The more we grasp and the tighter we hang on, the more God engages and invites us to fight the good fight.

In my book, Grappling with God, I will share about the time when my physical strength and athletic ability, which I had always prided myself on, suddenly slipped away from me, and I became more vulnerable than I had never been before. Watch for the early release tool kit offering a sample chapter and other resources to help you grow in your faith and love for God.

 

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Published: 26.07.2011 / 02:37 AM

Category: Grappling with God,Relationships,Spiritual Growth

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