by Ella Corey
Faith: confidence or trust in a person or thing.
I have faith every night when I go to sleep that I will wake up. I have faith that my coffee in the morning will not be poisoned. I have faith that car will not explode when I start it. I have faith as I walk that my legs will not collapse beneath me. If I did not, I would never sleep in fear of never waking up, I would never drink my coffee in the morning, I would never drive a car, and I would choose a lifestyle that did not involve walking.
This seems basic. Dictionary.com defines faith as confidence or trust in a person or thing, although I’m not sure how completely I agree with this. I do not have complete confidence in all these things. It is surely possible for me to not wake up in the morning, or for my legs to collapse beneath me. However, I exert a lifestyle that proves I trust these things won’t happen anyway. Faith is not complete assurance, or being 100% certain in your mind of something. It’s acting on your beliefs, even if there are doubts.
“Americans believe faith equals psychological certainty,” says Pastor Mike Erre, of First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton. “The Bible teaches that faith is something far different. The bible teaches that faith is commitment, it’s fidelity, it’s an action word, it’s chutzpah, it’s grabbing hold. It’s not an intellectual exercise. So, when I have faith in my marriage, I don’t intellectually believe Justine will never cheat on me but I live as if Justine would never cheat on me, nor I her. It’s covenant fidelity, that’s what faith is.” So how does this look in our lives? This misinterpretation of faith has a big impact on young Christians today. When one of us has an ounce of doubt, we then believe we do not have faith. I have seen this first hand, with many friends in my youth group who left the church when they heard something that contradicts what they believe.
In a video titled “You Lost Me,” David Kinnaman argues that the youth of the church is shrinking because questions are not being discussed or answered. They leave because they believe doubt does not belong in the church, that it means they have lost faith. With the idea that faith is “psychological certainty” I can understand why this is happening. If you doubt something you are therefore no longer psychologically certain. However, doubt does not mean that you do not have faith, because faith is trust despite doubts.
This week, I encourage you to reevaluate your faith. Be conscious and aware that you will have doubts, and that does not mean your faith is gone. Remember what is said in James 2:16-17, “If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.