As I was considering the sermon our Pastor gave this past weekend, and pondering on family. A thought crossed my mind, we as Christians don’t seem to truly grasp family nor faith. Hold your horses, don’t be upset with me yet, hear me out.
Since last weeks topic was faith, let’s look at that first. Faith, remember, in Hebrews 11 was defined: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Keep up with me as these are thoughts in my head finding life on this page (screen).
It seems to me there are many religions, groups, gangs, and cults which seem to have more faith than an every day Christian. Think about it. Look at atheists – they define atheism (noun): absence of belief in deities (gods, goddesses, etc.) and supernatural agents (e.g., angels, demons, etc.). Look, I am not going to argue whether they have faith or don’t. But when I look around me, it is astounding how much confidence they have in what they hope for and how much assurance they have about what they do not see. They have confidence their is no god and seem assured everything around them just came to be, *poof* out of thin air. Think about it. How hard is it believe just by chance, every mammal ended up with feet under them instead of popping out of their head? Or didn’t end up with one eye in the back of our head? Every mother knows it sure would have been nice to have! Or why do we have only two arms? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to have three or four or eight like the octopus? I mean really, what does an octopus really do with eight arms, I would surely put them to better use than them. If evolution and adaptation where truly effective, I would have at least four arms and an eye in the back of my head, I’m sure of it! At any rate, most atheist will defend their non-faith no god how the world came to be stance quicker and more aggressively than most Christians will defend theirs. Unrealized faith is what I see. Unrealized – not brought to a realization, not made actual or real. We seem to have an unrealized faith.
Consider many other religions and the sacrifices they live with each day of their life. Buddhist prayer three times a day. Hinduist worship every day as a family. Just look at the news to see what Muslims do. Look at some of the major religions and their requirements for dressing and eating. And we think we are doing something special by doing the Daniel Fast for 21 days – really? If our God really is the one true God, then why do we not sacrifice more? Why don’t we make devotions 365 day a year practice? Why do we find it so hard to walk in the ways we are taught to walk? Is it really that hard? Really? Its such an unrealized faith we have. Jesus said everything could be boiled down to two main things. Two – only two. If we can do these two things, we can fulfill just about everything else God would like from us. Our two biggest mandates are to Love God with all our hearts … go on, I know you can finish it. And Love People as ourselves. Wow, yeah, now those are two really hard things to do now aren’t they? And we can wear anything we want, eat anything we want, while doing them. Yes, it really is an unrealized faith. Nothing in our faith requires us to beat or kill any of our family members. Nothing in our faith requires us to disassociate with someone who does not share our faith. Nothing in our faith requires us to shun a family member. Unrealized faith.
These other religions and even gangs realize the significance of family. The every day person thinks of family as people related to them by blood. Most recognize those blood relatives of their spouse as family as well. But some religions, gangs, and cults – they hold stead fast to their family, people who are neither related through blood or marriage. They would die for their family members. Just can’t picture too many Christians willing to die for the person sitting next to them in their pew. Worse part is many don’t even know the person sitting next to them! Why not? Jesus said these people were our family. Look in Mark 3, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Unrealized faith and unrealized family.
Leaves me with a slight feeling of shame. Makes me want to live differently, think differently. I mean, isn’t my God, my Savior, worth as much to me as these other’s religious deities, symbols, or figures? Seriously – isn’t He! And isn’t my God, my Savior worth defending more than defending nothing? We put more effort into defending our own favorite sports team than we do our Heavenly Father. Isn’t the person sitting next to me important to me? If other religions, gangs, or cults are willing to fight side by side with their “family” members, aren’t I at least willing to fight with mine? Take time to pray for them? Seriously, prayer is a weapon in the warfare we engage in! Unrealized faith and family.
And if other religions are willing to stop everything they are doing and kneel – no matter where they are, no matter who is watching – and pray to their god, shouldn’t I be able to kneel beside my bed, or stop for 10 minutes at work and do the same? Unrealized faith and family.
I want to live a life with realized faith and realized family. Realized – become fully aware of something as a fact, understand clearly. I know I won’t be perfect. I know I will fail. I know it will be hard. But my God, my Savior deserves more than what I’ve been giving Him. It’s time I brought realization to my faith and family. What do you think?