Your Faith Doesn't Have To Be Perfect //
"You don't know kids' Worship songs?!"
"Does your family go to this church too?"
"Remember the story of *insert well known story in the bible*?!"
"Sorry, I'm sitting with my parents in church. Sit with you next time!"
More times than i'd like to admit, I have let these sentences make me feel less worthy than I actually am.
For so long, I let the fact that my family doesn't go to church affect my relationship with God.
I let my brain misconstrue innocent comments about growing up in church as an indirect dig at me because I come from a non-Christian family.
I let other peoples' knowledge of stories in the bible make me feel less deserving of God's love because I know less about Him.
I let comparison of faith take over.
That's right, I let it.
Think about the great men and women of faith we see in the Bible.
Their boldness, courage, fearlessness, and tenacity to chase after what God had laid out for them. I often compare myself to these individuals. Maybe you’ve done the same. I wish I was that bold and faithful I tell myself. Which was immediately followed by but I didn't know any better, and now I've ruined it.
I wish I trusted God as unabashedly as they did.
It’s extremely easy for me to compare myself to those who have done things I yearn to do. Not only within the words of the Bible but also in day-to-day life.
As i'm writing this I realise I know more about the Bible than I ever gave myself credit for.
What I must constantly remind myself that these people were not perfect, and what I may perceive as a perfect and flawless life of faith and trust in God isn’t actually the case. They were human just like you and I. They made mistakes. They fell short. And they sometimes even chose the wrong. I’ve learned that your faith doesn’t always have to be perfect to be faith. And just because someone knows more of the Bible than you, that doesn't make you lesser than. God defines who you are by WHOSE you are, despite how much you know. You faith never will be perfect, and the Bible tells us that to be true.
Reality is, all that time, I didn't need to stress about how much I knew. I know HIM. I know the One who created all of the stories in that thing and who created all things. And HE tells me I'm loved. HE calls me worthy. His grace covers me. Despite what my faith looks like, despite where I come from, and despite not being able to watch Veggie Tales and recite each word off by heart. (Although if you can do that, let's be friends)
ECCLESIASTES 7:20 - "INDEED, THERE IS NO ONE ON EARTH WHO IS RIGHTEOUS, NO ONE WHO DOES WHAT IS RIGHT AND NEVER SINS."
There are people who in the Bible who did incredible things, had incredible faith, but also had some incredibly deep imperfections.
Mary. David. Joshua. Moses. Abraham. Peter. Paul. The list goes on.
I say this not to expose their flaws to feel better about my own, but to remind myself that we’re all flawed and a little messy. There is no such thing as perfect faith, and that’s something that should unite Christians around the world instead of divide us.
We’re all perfectly imperfect, journeying through this thing called faith together, one mistake and one victory at a time. If this wasn’t the case then we wouldn’t have needed a perfect Saviour, Jesus, to die on a cross, and pay the penalty for all of our sins.
He knew where we were going to come from and what we were going to be like.
So, next time someone sits next to you, and their faith seems so intimidating that you question your own (we've all been there), know this: they're one of the sinners Jesus died for too. Don't think of that in a 'i'm better than you' way, but more like a 'we are all equal in God's eyes' way.
No matter what you’ve got going on in life. Whether your faith is as strong as it’s ever been or as empty as it’s ever felt, know that God is still God and His love for you stays the same. We all go through ups and downs in life, and in faith. We all have highs and lows as it pertains to our relationship with Jesus. We all make mistakes.
Don’t give up because you’re feeling down. God hasn’t given up on you yet, so neither should you. Try to keep your head up high even through the lows in life. Try to keep your eyes open to God’s goodness even when you feel like all you want to do is close them. Keep your heart surrendered even when you feel like closing it off to the world.
Your faith doesn’t have to be perfect to be real faith.
Love, N. x