everyday faith

Faith and everyday life can be a challenging topic.

Well, consider this: when I’m not with Julie, do I stop being her husband? No, I’m always a husband to Julie. Everyday activities reflect me being Julie’s husband, sometimes more directly than others. But you can’t separate me being her husband and other things. That goes against the depth and commitment and permanence of our relationship in marriage.

Belief in God and commitment to faith in Jesus is often referred to as a covenant in the Bible. It’s not just an external arrangement or label we wear that describes certain aspects of our life (e.g. I do “Christian” things like going to church, praying, etc... and do “normal” things the rest of the time). No, like in a marriage, our faith is always our defining characteristic, but not in the overtly religious ways we can sometimes make it. There aren’t two me’s (Christian Dave and Dave). There is just Dave who is a Christian in everything...

Part of our struggle with everyday faith, then, is when we accept an unhealthy dualism between religious/spiritual and the “real” world. It’s all the real world! We just have religious language and practices to help us better understand this real world.

Everyday faith isn’t tweaking small aspects of our Monday-Saturday life, like:   
  • praying out loud at lunch break so my co-workers notice
  • bringing up Christianity/Jesus as often as possible with my neighbors
  • putting a Jesus-fish on my car
  • always being happy
  • never getting angry when someone drives slow in the fast lane of the highway
The last thing we need is an everyday faith that simply tries to make everyday life more religious – rigid in specific ways of acting that we call “spiritual” – at the expense of becoming more authentically human.

I like this comment from a friend: 
God isn't trying to make us good Christians or even great Christians but rather great people.
But there is no strategy to make faith connect with everyday life – that defeats the purpose. I’m suggesting we realize not how to make faith a part of everyday life, but realize that faith – God, Christianity, following Jesus – is our everyday life.

Everyday faith is not intended to induce everyday guilt. Everyday faith is about recognizing and living in the way God intends us to live – in the fullness of relationship with God and with others and the world around us. Shalom is a biblical word that describes wholeness – peace – in all things. This is God intention for our lives. This is what it means to follow Jesus.

Let us follow Jesus with an everyday faith...


Andrew said...

Thanks Dave. Tonight I needed to hear this. Andrew

David Warkentin said...

You're very welcome Andrew - glad it struck a chord...

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