Monday, November 08, 2010

Making other people's faith your own

Many times we hear people say, "Don't just believe it because your friend's believe it." While I definitely agree with that statement, I think we may miss a subtle reality if we don't think a little more deeply about it - the reality of how other people's beliefs definitely shape our own.

Here are a couple of incidences where we are commanded to be edified by other people and their beliefs:

  • Proverbs 3:1 - "My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,"
  • 1 Corinthians 11:1 - "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."
  • Hebrews 10:24-25 - "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
While I understand that I must embrace a belief in order for it to be "mine", I also want to encourage everyone out there reading this note that we are shaped by so many things. We believe what we believe in large part because of so many external realities that surround us (things that God has ordained). And, sometimes, in the real bleak and dark times of your life, we almost need to cling to the beliefs of other people around us. We need other people to stir us up when we don't feel like we can hold on. Like Asaph in Psalm 73, we are wearied until we go "into the sanctuary of God" (v 17) and experience the encouragement of other people pointing us upward!

So, while I agree that you can't just believe something because others believe it. I also believe that, if others are abiding in the Word, you need to have them in your life, preaching Truth to you. And, at times, you need to make other people's faith your own.

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