Thursday, 7 June 2012

A real, living faith

Guest blog 
Tim Childs

Life is made up of ordinary moments and occasional magical ones; but mostly ordinary ones. 

We demand from God a faith that moves mountains, but perhaps it’s just enough that we have faith enough to get us through today, and not worry about tomorrow. We worry about where we are going in life, what’s going to happen to us, and of course – in this deeply uncertain economic and political climate – we perhaps worry most of all for our futures and how we’ll make ends meet.

Modern society and its values of modern society seem to show us that to be happy we must be rich, successful, accomplish all our dreams and to be able to sit and have lunch by our expensive swimming pools in a huge back garden attached to our expensive properties. Anything less just wouldn’t do, would it?  Who makes up all these ‘rules’? Are wealthy people happier than poor people? 

There is, of course, a greater truth that begs to be looked at, a truth that might at times be staring us in the face. Christianity is about more than wealth, more than power, more than acceptable social standing; in fact it goes beyond all these things. The greater truth is that we can be happy, content and have wellbeing without being wealthy; without scheming against or exploiting other people and find meaning and purpose to life without being ‘important’ in life.

If God has called us to serve Him, He Himself has the power to bring us true meaning and purpose in an often meaningless and purposeless world. He can bring happiness and contentment in a world that is often chaotic and disordered and filled with discontented people.

I know what it’s like to be unhappy; I have had depression on and off throughout my adult life. But this reality had little to do with money, or the lack of it. Some of the best times of my life as a kid were going on caravan holidays to Wales. My family weren’t particularly wealthy; we were poor by most standards in fact. If we’re told that to be happy we must be wealthy, is it any wonder people are so dissatisfied with their lives?

We need to find ourselves through God and through living out our faith. Faith is an adventure, a journey, as well as a destination. God will supply all our needs if we ask Him. He might not make you wealthy, and you won’t necessarily win the lottery (I haven’t yet!) but you will find hope, a purpose and find a life worth living.

Wealth, to some extent, is illusory, although most of us would rather be affluent than live in poverty. It’s illusory because it seems to offer happiness, but I don’t think it really does. It might buy friends, but what sort of friends? It can’t bring real happiness, because real happiness is more a spiritual condition not really dependent on the acquisition of material things; and although it might cushion us from certain things, it can’t stop real life from happening around us. In short, it is better to be moderately comfortable and happy, than wealthy and cut off from God.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying you have to be poor to be spiritual and neither am I a rich person telling poor people to be happy being poor, far from it. I aspire to be a success in my own life, but it isn’t just about money! 

Success for the Christian is about serving God with a whole heart first, and then focusing on other considerations after that. There’s no reason why a Christian can’t aspire to be successful or get a better job or start a business; we should even pray about this. But, in all we do, we should put God first and never unfairly exploit or harm others in an attempt to ‘better’ ourselves. Like so many things, it’s a fine balance that can only be found if we put our faith in God; a faith that is more than ritual and religion; a daily and intimate walk with our creator. 

Read more about faith in the upcoming issue of Sorted magazine. It's your last chance to take advantage of our Father's Day special offer of 50 copies for just £75!

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