Monday, 24 March 2008

How Strong Is My Faith!

David at authorblog in his Weekend Wandering asks "How Strong Is Your Faith?" Not a popular subject, judging by the responses, but maybe I like a challenge!
How do you measure how strong your faith is? By whose standard? What does he mean by faith? Faith in what? These are difficult questions to answer.

I am a Committed Christian, so have faith in God through Jesus and I was baptized at 41 years of age by total immersion (which was scary for me, as a non swimmer!) Not that I had to swim, mind you! But I didn't like going under water. However, on the day, I was filled with peace when I did it and joy afterwards. I have attended a Baptist Church regularly, ever since.
I am quite certain that I will never turn away from my Christian belief, so does that make it strong? I think it is a firm belief.
However, I would not scream about it on street corners, like some do. Those people make me feel uncomfortable. I don't feel that is what I am supposed to be doing at all. If people ask me, I tell them what I believe, but I don't ram it down people's throats. So does that make my faith weak?

To me, being a Christian means having a personal relationship with God through prayer. I have certainly come through some difficult times in my life and have felt that I've been helped by the power of prayer many times.
Some times things get in the way of prayer, like blogging! So I will use this post as a little testimony (groan from lots of people, I expect, but I won't do it frequently!) and I will give something back to God, so it is tit for tat!

Could it be David meant faith in Human Nature? This is a bit of a risky thing, as people can let you down. Even the best of friends can do that, though admittedly, there are some wonderful people about. I'd sooner put my complete faith in God, though humans are important to me.

Faith in myself? Well, everyone needs to have some faith in themselves or else they could never cross a busy road, but I would not like to think that everything depended on me and there was nothing else! I suppose some people who don't believe in God, must be very strong people, going it alone. But what happens after death? Just suppose they got it wrong?

Some people put their faith in luck and charms and things, but that is not for me!

So who am I to judge other people or myself? I will trust God to sort it out and continue to put my trust in Him and believe on Jesus for everlasting life!


Flowerpot said...

interesting question Maggie. I guess faith can mean different things to different people. I think having faith in oneself makes life a lot easier - for the person and for everyone else!

Anonymous said...

Hi maggie
Interesting if you look at how the various religions look at and define faith, they differ quite a bit
To me faith is a gift an it says more about the humility of the person who has faith than anything else.
To not demand ultimate proof but trust-whether its in a deity or a person or group for most takes some doing.
I have faith in the ultimate goodness of people and faith that good begets good.
That does for me.

Maggie May said...

flowerpot ...... yes faith can mean many different things to different people. Thanks for dropping by!

valleysmam ......... thanks for sharing your views on faith.I think too many people are afraid to express a view of any kind!

Suburbia said...

Yes Maggie I avoided that one. I think faith is personal and I do avoid those who shout it from the rooftops.
I also struggle with the way faith divides us.
Thanks for your post, I could never have written about this subject so succinctly.

CrazyCath said...

Maggie - that is a lovely testament to your faith and to God. I think this is a hard subject to tackle and I am thinking mine through - it can get very deep! I'll post mine later in the week.

Thank you for sharing this.

Sweet Irene said...

Faith for me is fickle. When I am hypo manic, I believe very strongly in some sort of God I must pray to and give thanks to and burn candles for.

When I am not hypo manic, I am not religious at all and I depend on my own common sense to help me through life.

It used to be, when I got depressed, that I believed in a very wrathful, punishing God, but I have left that entity behind me, thankfully.

Mostly, I am a humanist and should I become religious again, it will mean that I am hypo manic again. That's how it works for me.

As to converting people, we convince people of our views by how we live our lives, that should do.

Maggie May said...

suburbia ....... yes, can't argue with that ...... faith DOES divide! Hopefully, not on this blog!

Crazy Cath ....... deliberately kept it simple, as I could have got bogged down with technicalities!
Really looking forward to reading yours! I would be surprised if many people rose to the challenge!

Irene ........ That certainly puts a different slant on things ..... the way illness can hook onto "faith" things! I HATE the word religious! And I very rarely use it!
Many thanks for your views, so far! It is all very revealing!

Any one just passing by, please write a little of what you feel. You don't have to agree with me & I won't be offended! I hope!

She's like the wind said...

Interesting after my recent dilemma, for me faith is believe in God, if I talk about faith then that's what I'm talking about, like you I don't feel the need to shout about it, it's private to me and it's between me and God. Nice post. x

Robin said...

I really enjoyed reading this. I agree with you very much. My plan when it comes to sharing my faith, is to live my life as I believe I am called, and let God bring people into my life according to His plan. Does that make sense?

Maggie May said...

she's like the wind .......... Thanks for your encouragement. I think much of it is to do with our personality, as well. I suppose if we are extroverts, then we will do more showy things, but I'm not!

robin ........ yes, that makes perfect sense. We are all completely unique, so obviously won't all go about things in the same way.
Glad it was helpful.

Maggie May said...

Forgot that you'd written a very good post
"I Confess To Almighty God". Its worth a read & fits in with this subject very well.

Maggie May said...

That was meant for She's Like The Wind! Well the link works, give her a buzz!

Mrs. Fox said...

I put my faith in God in each of us, that divine spark that makes us His children. Many squelch it but we all have it burning in our hearts. I have faith that in the end, that fire, that spirit of goodness, will prevail.

Thanks for a beautiful post. :)

Mrs. Fox said...

Thank you so much for your kind words on my post. To be honest, I was unaware of your own home battles and feel like a bit of a cad. We shall keep one another in our mutual prayers, drawing on the spiritual fire I mentioned before. May God bless and keep you and yours. Down with Fred's the world over.

david mcmahon said...

You open up a wonderful debate here - and yes, I meant the word ``faith'' in an open-ended manner, encompassing faith of any hue.

Total immersion in those circumstances would have been daunting - and an immediate test of faith.

Maggie May said...

Mrs Fox .......... thanks for visiting me. Also thanks for the kind words. I find that the deeper we get into knowing someone, the more we realize that we are never alone in our sufferings and troubles. other people are out there with their own. But we are here to help each other as best we can. Sometimes it is only with empathy & prayer support.
I suggest if any one wants to know what we are talking about, you go to Mrs Foxes post!

Thanks David .... I think there seems to be a three or four way discussion developing here too!

the mother of this lot said...

'Trust God to sort it out...' - that's me too Maggie! I just leave the whole lot to God and hope for the best!

CamiKaos said...

I came over from David's

This is a lovely post... I'm so glad he shared it with us.

Maggie May said...

Jackie ......... yes, its the only way!

camikaos ........ thanks for your kind words. It is good to share in this way!

Moosekahl said...

A wonderful essay. I minored in Theology as an undergrad and the most important lesson in the four years of classes I learned was it's more important to have a faith then a religion. A faith is a grounding post whether it be in a higher being or yourself. It must be something stable. If your faith grounds you, it's doing it's job.

GoneBackSouth said...

Faith. It's one of the many many things that I'm confused about at the moment!

Maggie May said...

moosekahl ....... thanks for that it was very kind of you.

Gonebacksouth ......... I guess there are lots of confusing things with faith issues. Some things cannot really be answered.

Momma said...

Somehow I missed this one, Maggie, but it is a lovely post. I gave some thought to answering David's challenge, but I couldn't put it all into words (and I'm rarely at a loss for words). Like you, I was baptized by full immersion when I was a child. I also didn't swim (though I learned at age 41) and was afraid of the water. So here I was, walking down into the baptismal pool above the choir, being baptized. I had no doubt about what I was doing, but I sure was afraid of being laid back under the water.

When I went under, I flung my arms to my sides, nearly sloshing it onto the choir (per my mom), and when I came up, I let out a loud, "Hoo-boy!"

My faith has changed and evolved over the years, but I still believe.

Blessings - D

Carolyn said...

Gosh. I've been avoiding this topic. Too touchy a subject for most. Maybe if I approached it from the angle of faith and not religion...? Good for you though.

Maggie May said...

Thanks momma ............ that was a really lovely testimony! I can picture it in my head!

carolyn,......... yes, the word religion does conjure up differences & dogmas & rituals, which I don't like!
By the time you get to my age, its not so worrying about what other people think! That's why I decided to tackle the subject!

P M Prescott said...

A wonderful testimony. May you continue to grow in your faith.

Maggie May said...

P M Prescott ................ many thanks for visiting & yes, faith is a continual journey of learning & growing.