Passing the Faith Along

"The definition of faith is believing in something with no proof or evidence." – overheard from the adult leader in my son’s middle school small group, a few Sundays ago

Um. No. Not quite.

But I know it feels like that sometimes. I know that it feels like all we have is a "blind faith" that, frankly, let’s us down as much as anything. One of my heaviest weights is thinking about how I’m "passing my faith along" to our kids. I’ll pass along my angst and mistrust, and I’m hoping I’ll be real about my hope and trust as well. It’s a total package.

For me right now, faith is itself the evidence, not "belief without proof". That’s what Hebrews 11:1 says, that faith is that proof of what you’re hoping for, of what’s unseen now but is always just around the bend. There’s the relationship aspect – God has proven Himself faithful, and I can hold onto His faithfulness, I can trust Him, and that becomes foundational for everything else in some way.


6 thoughts on “Passing the Faith Along

  1. Alan says:

    Rick, you are so right. Believing in something without evidence would be rather foolish. As a Christian, I seek that evidence daily, and find it as often. I love the way He reveals Himself when we seek Him.

  2. Joel says:

    Right on. Faith is the evidence of things not seen (ie, with our physical eyes), not of things that are not proven or experienced. (a quick word study willl bear out that crucial difference.)
    I liken it to crossing a stream with murky water. I can’t see the ground I’m on but I can feel it’s there. When regeneration happens, you know. You don’t need to prop yourself up with word pictures. Life remains full of uncertainty, but the inner transformation is indisputably real.
    I myself went for too long acting as though it had happened when it hadn’t, and thinking that that was faith.

  3. Mr. Harmless says:

    I can never figure out why people try to come up with definitions, when the Bible has already done a great job of defining for us.
    And then, they come up with a faulty definition…

  4. Rick says:

    In defense of the original :), who knows how many words I’ve discombobulated in the middle of trying to lead a group, especially youth. That’s a place for growth, for learning, for finding out more in what this is all about. In that sense, I like that he said something to start the thought process in me, to start a conversation beyond the definition.

  5. Caryn says:

    C.S. Lewis defines faith on two levels. The first is bound to reason, like the old metaphor of having faith the chair will hold us up based on real life experience with chairs. The second is the kind spoken of in scripture as a VIRTUE. This second virtuous type of faith is when we choose to maintain our belief in chairs (or God) even on those terrible days when we really don’t feel like believing. Mere CHristianity is a great reference for defining and explaining central concepts.

  6. Rick says:

    MERE CHRISTIANITY is one of those books that will cause my heart to skip a beat when I see my own kids pick it up, that’s for sure. Another more contemporary one is FINDING FAITH by B McLaren, where he describes bad faith as almost the first def’n up there, with no proof, or no growth. And then good faith would be something that always seeks to be better, to “get it right” and not be so stubborn to hold onto what might be wrong.

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