A More Potent Faith
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
A book that marked me early is True Spirituality by Francis Schaeffer, founder of L’Abri. After being a Christian for many years he wrote, “Gradually, a problem came to me-the problem of reality.”
He saw in Christians little of the reality the Bible so clearly said should be there. In vulnerability, he also admitted, “My own reality was less than it had been in the early days after I had become a Christian. I realized that in honesty I had to go back and rethink my whole position.”
Why do we (often) start strong, then retreat back into an impotent faith? Is it not because our experience seems to contradict the Bible? Oh, we don’t “really” believe the Bible isn’t true-but we must not understand what it “really” says.
For example, Jesus said, “Your Father in heaven will give good gifts to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11). Is this your regular experience? The Bible promises one thing, but our experience “seems” to say it isn’t true. How do we resolve this tension?
Reality is not the “perception.” One man thinks a car cut him off, but the other man thinks, “He wouldn’t let me in.” A child thinks, “My dad is mean,” while the father thinks, “This will teach my son wisdom.”
What is the reality? Reality is what is “true.” For the Christian, the Bible is the tie-breaker between perception and truth. We do not use our experience to interpret our Bibles; we use our Bibles to interpret our experience.
Are you expecting enough from your faith? Is your own reality as much as it was in the early days? If not, you may want to rethink your position. As C. S. Lewis said, “Our problem is not that we desire too much but too little.”
© 2002 Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use with proper attribution.