Faith in what/who?

What or who do we really have faith in? There’s a difference in talking about this and actually living it out. It’s easy for us to say that we have faith in God. But do we really? Do our actions show that we actually have faith in God, or do our actions betray us as liars? Ouch. Actions speak louder than words after all.

But the more difficult thing about this is that there isn’t a nice clear line. How much of our actions need to show that our actions are actually in alignment with our stated beliefs? And who gets to judge that? Good luck with that.

I don’t think there’s a nice easy answer to any of this if we are honest.

Who or what do we put our faith in for our safety? Maybe many things and people and God. Maybe we have unspoken expectations and assumptions related to safety. Maybe we are privileged in some way that we don’t have to think about our safety or the safety of our loved ones. Maybe it depends on context and geography and economic status and gender and sexuality and employment and education and…

What are the things that we have faith in for our safety? Are some of these a false faith – something that will probably let us down when trouble gets real? Will some of these things actually create more problems than offer safety?

Do weapons offer us safety or just the feeling of being safer? Or less safe? What about security measures like locked doors and metal detectors and whatnot? What about security personnel being present? Are we really safe with all of this? Or is it just the feeling of safety that is really what we are concerned with.

The deeper question is why is safety so pivotal? There are plenty of people and places in which safety is nothing more than a concept, but lacking it around them and their lives every day.

Safety is only one aspect of this. Where does our faith lie when it comes to group identities, as a nation, in our communities, in our work, in our relationships?

And how does this relate to Scripture constantly declaring “do not be afraid?” That statement isn’t about ignoring the things that can scare us and harm us. It is a declaration of how we are to approach life – not living in fear. Why? Because we are not alone and facing the world alone. What is the worst that will happen? Even in that, God takes care of us. That is what our faith tells us. Do we believe it?

What is our faith in when it comes to loving our neighbors and enemies? In welcoming the stranger? In caring for those on the margins of society in a variety of ways? In feeding the hungry? In caring for the sick? In freeing the captive?

What is our faith in? Go beyond the simple answer of “God.” Where is our faith really? Is it God and… Is it something about saying God, but… Is it a non-answer because we just don’t know? Is it something else?

Here’s why this is important – we face things all the time. What we do will be guided by core beliefs – the actual, real things that we believe, not the stated beliefs we say because we think others want to hear certain things. What is it that we actually believe when it really matters. Those beliefs will guide us and direct us.

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