Don't Be Superficial

Text: Luke 1:3
I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, (NRSV)

As a kid there was a saying that I used to see on a bumper sticker on a car in my town that made me wonder about the quality of the individual’s relationship with God.  My first thought was always along the line of “This person must not have a very close relationship with God.”  In hindsight, that was probably unfair.  I have no idea what the relationship was between the person with that bumper sticker and God.  The sticker said, “The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.”

Now perhaps that sounds like someone with great faith to you.  But to me, it sounded like someone who never took the time to invest in an examination of their faith.  I like what Luke has to say in this verse, “after investigating everything carefully from the very first…”  To me, that is what it means to develop a mature faith in God.

Until we understand for ourselves why it is that we believe what we say we believe, we will never be able to talk reasonably about our experience with God.  If one quickly and blindly believes something without examination, that belief can be just as quickly shattered if challenged by an experience that does not line up with the belief.  However, if one investigates and examines their beliefs, and then something appears to throw doubt on the belief, there is already in place a framework with which to hold fast or make the changes that might be necessary to better align one’s faith to the truth of God.

For me, a superficial faith that has not been explored and prayed over, is a dangerous way to live out ones Christianity.  It reminds me of Jesus’ parable of the house built on the sand (see Matthew 7:24-27).  I’m with Luke here, don’t have a superficial faith but investigate your faith carefully so that you might have an orderly account of what you believe, ready to explain why you love God the way you do.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of wisdom pour you knowledge into me through the gift of your Holy Spirit as I examine my faith and perfect my love for you and neighbor.  AMEN.

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