A friend once asked me, “So how does one ‘get’ faith?” I see Christians and how their faith makes them strong, and I want that in my life, too. I responded, “Faith starts at a point of genuine need. Do you believe that you need something outside of yourself to guide your life? Or is faith a self-improvement step you just want to add to your life?”
This outlines maybe the key lesson I’ve learned over the years about faith. Christianity is not about just being a nicer or more ethical person, or trying harder to follow a set of rules or traditions. It’s not about saying or doing a few things differently just to gain happiness, strength, or wisdom.
True faith begins when we understand that we are incomplete and broken, and that we need something outside ourselves in order to be whole.
A change inside of us is necessary because we do not have all the answers nor all the strength. We cannot be Christians by sheer intelligence, insight, willpower, or discipline. Only something or someone outside of us can change us, and resource us with what we truly need.
Becoming a Christian is a fundamental change that happens inside of us as we make an expression of faith or belief and commit our lives and hearts in action. The Bible describes how our hearts are changed, and we actually become a renewed person. This is the idea of spiritual transformation, or a conversion. Yet we don’t lose our uniqueness and giftings as people — instead we begin a new journey where God grows us into the fullest version of who we were intended to be!
Does this sound impossible to you? The crazy thing is that the Bible says that it can happen in an instant, and for anybody. It’s not something that takes five steps or five years to earn. It’s not an offer that’s only for people with certain skills, backgrounds, or qualities.
Admittedly, this is simple but not easy. That’s because to experience this transformation and renewal, we have to come to a point of humility that acknowledges that we need something other than ourselves to determine truth in the world, and to guide our lives. This is hard for any of us to do! It was a hard step for me personally, as I wasn’t at rock-bottom when I found Christianity. I didn’t feel I was necessarily unhappy with my life, nor that I was that bad or evil.
However, I did realize that I knew less than I had thought, and over time I came to see all the darker and uglier parts of myself that needed to grow and be healed. Fortunately, I wasn’t on my own to figure those out, but was gifted with a God who promised to grow and heal me over the course or my life!
True faith starts as we acknowledge — even in a small way — that we have flaws, limitations, and needs. It begins as we lay down some of our desire to prove our self-sufficiency.
The good news is that when we take this step with sincerity and commitment, the door opens to an exciting new world of resources and possibilities. We find the key to true faith.