Faith & Life

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(First of all I have to apologize for my month long sabbatical from this blog. I mean, really, I just got started and I had to set it aside for awhile. Life happened. But I did make a lot of notes and started a bunch of entries, so I’ll try to get the thoughts rolling again. Thanks for reading, and all the more for commenting.)

Faith & Life. What’s the difference? We were talking in the office the other day and the conversation rolled around to helping people “grow in their faith” and one of my colleagues exclaimed, “Grow in faith!? I don’t want to ‘grow in faith’ I want to grow in life. I want someone to help me grow in my life.”

Why divide faith from life? This is like the secular/sacred split. Our protective desire to keep God ‘clean’ of the things of this world by creating the two categories (doesn’t seem biblically sound when you talk about it that way, does it?) has also kept God in church and out of the world and confined faith to Sunday mornings. My colleague isn’t saying that there isn’t a difference between a life with and without faith – of course there is, and one of our jobs is to help people to see that. But once we know that life is only life with God in it, why keep separating them? We aren’t teaching something that has to do with one part of our life experience, but that is our life experience. Why give people language that inclines them to categorize and seclude God’s work and presence in their lives.

I’m going to try to change the way I speak and see how it works. When do I want to talk about people’s faith, and when do I just want to talk about life? Life – that is what God is interested in.

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4 responses to “Faith & Life

  1. I find myself passively ignoring this concept because it unsettles me. Life with faith. Meaning including God in everything I do. But what does that mean? Does it mean simply knowing God is there? Internally opening myself to let God into everything I do? Or does it mean physically including my faith in everything? I find fault with the latter. There are many aspects of our lives in which it would be awkward or inappropriate to bring up faith. Actually, most of the time I’d rather keep quiet. Especially when I’m not sure about something. So often people are asked to defend their faith. This is unfair since many people are still struggling with it themselves.

    I too want to grow in my life. And, yes, often that takes precedence over growing in faith. Are you saying that growth in faith will bring growth in life? Is it possible that growth in life can bring growth in faith?

  2. Great questions. What I’m saying is that they aren’t really different. If talking about ‘faith’ means sounding ‘religious’ then one is missing the point. If God is God of everything then everything is of God and it is only a human, arbitrary distinction to separate them. Spouting Bible verses and dictating doctrinal rules is, in reality, less ‘religous’ than breathing. After all, the doctrines were made by people to try to speak of God, and breath is given by God. I need to learn how to breathe my breath as if it is God’s, not just another whiff of air.

    Martin Buber wrote a book called “I and Thou” some decades ago that tried to crack this nut, now that I think about it. A good book.

  3. Good post. There is a lot of confusion in this area. I think our faith and life are binded so close together they cannot be seperated. Theologians throughout the centuries have tried to do this, much to the harm of believers.

    Just think of it, a walk in the park can be just a spiritual as time in church. Ooops I shouldn’t say that to a pastor 😉

  4. Pingback: Faith in Everyday Life | Precarious Pastor

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