Faith is a Process

One thing we need to remember about our faith walk is that it should change as time goes.  As one grows from a child and to be an adult then become a parent and learn more about life, our faith should grow from childhood to a mature stage.

The most important part of childhood is discipline.  No parents give much freedom to a child and let him/her make own choices.  Since child does not understand the value of freedom, it is more effective to disciple than allow freedom.  Parent should have authority and power to demand obedience.  In the bible, there are so many direct commands such as “Do this.” Or “Don’t do that.”  That is because many believers of the time among the recipients of epistles were young.

Of course, the discipline should be combined with warmth and kindness so that child can understand the love of parents not only their power to punish.  I believe that is why God quickly answers prayers of young believers.  Young Christians experience many answers to prayers, but at the same time, they should be more legalistic. In this time they continuously seek own benefit and try to make deal with God.

We should not remain in childlike faith, but grow in maturity.  (When Jesus said that our faith need to be like that of little children, he meant totally different thing with totally different intention.)  Adult’s decision of ‘doing or not doing’ is not based on fear or guilt but based on trust of love relationship and voluntary sacrifice.  Couple who love each other choose to make sacrifices to please spouse and not out of fear.

At this point, legalistic behaviors can cause more loss than gain.  Because of love for God, we voluntarily seek chances to make sacrifices and go through such training.  Also, one may not get such frequent answer to prayer, and realize that things do not always work out as planned.  Further, one understands that it is childish to throw tantrum because things did not work out as hoped.

It seems that a definite factor which pushes us to grow is to have a child.  Only after became a parent, we gain the maturity to be patient with others.  Baby requires unending care, child has endless need, and teen rebels without cause.  Parent gains patience and understanding through this process.  Since they know their child reflects themselves, they cannot be arrogant but learn to be humble.  As a child who grew up in parent’s love is old enough to leave home, through the pain of separation, parent gain another understanding of different facet of life.

Just like this process, the maturity of faith comes when we become parents and learn not to live selfish way but to live unselfish way.  As we serve others, we learn patience.  As we serve others, we understand suffering.  Through the suffering, we get to know God.  If we have peace even when we receive unfair treatment, we truly become like God.  Faith should be the growing process like this.


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