Faith: One Size Fits All?
What is Faith?
Very often, we hold to certain ideals because they are passed down in some form – through family, culture, and influence from others with whom we are connected to in some way.
So what is FAITH? According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Simply put, it is wrapped around what we expect to happen one day (in reaching heaven and witnessing Jesus’ return to earth) without having been eye witness to all that was recorded in the Bible. It also is believing that the Bible is the spoken word of God.
But here is another thing about faith: the closer you are to God, the more it grows. That means if you start out believing in part, before long you encompass further views on a variety of subjects. Clearly that shows that faith is conditional on your ability to increase in knowledge. And since we as humans constantly increase our knowledge the more we read, discuss, and live, it stands to reason that our faith does not remain static. It can change, just as people can go from non-believers, to believers, and back to non-believers in a heartbeat.
Unexpected circumstances cause us to react in a multitude of ways, with no two reactions ever the same, even if a circumstance is repeated. As much as we don’t always realize it, we do learn from everything we do, both good or bad, and it starts to shape our character, or in this case, our faith.
There are several differences between denominations, but also within denominations. Thus is becomes confusing to know where you “fit.” Quite often, people are concerned about if what they believe is “right” and if there is a “more right” group to follow. It’s no wonder, then, that so many people choose to stay out of religion altogether, because they don’t want to be caught up in any of that. Sadly, many people fail to realize that it's all about building a personal relationship with the Lord, and not following a bunch of rules that dictate whether or not you are "accepted" into a particular church group. The reality of faith is that eventually we may have to break free from what we had been taught in earlier years as our faith progresses, which requires a complete trust in God's direction for our lives.
Choosing Where to Worship
In addition to having faith and a belief in Christ on our own, it's good to have a place to worship God and fellowship with other believers. But where do you go? Whose recommendations do you trust?
The right answer is different for everyone. Sometimes you just have to visit a church and see if what is presented to you is in line with your faith. How well do you connect with others? Do you feel your faith magnified by being there? Is the worship experience uplifting? Ultimately, we are there for God and to enable our faith to grow, while serving others, and NOT for what others can do for us. The reality with this is also that sometimes we won't like what we hear, and no two people will be moved by the same experiences. If and when it is time for you to consider a different place of worship is your own personal decision, and doing so shouldn't do anything less than make you closer with the Lord.