Is it right to share your faith?
No, I don’t think it is.
Not if that faith involves bitterness, judgmentalism, fear, or any other dysfunctional behaviour. Why share that? But, if faith involves openness, humility, forgiveness, justice, love – isn’t it wrong not to share that? So the real questions are:
- “What is my faith?”
- “Is it a faith worth sharing?”
At a neighbouring church the congregation were once asked to provide their own answer to these questions in 300 words. 300 words is not very long. It is the time you might spend waiting for a bus, or ordering a coffee, or reading a blog! It is a window of opportunity to share with another.
- Can you encapsulate your faith in 300 words?
- Not quoting one of the historic Christian creeds, but your ‘creed’?
- If you can’t say what you believe in 300 words, can you say anything?
This last question may seem facile but statistics indicate that our attention spans are shortening in the digital age, it has even been said that an average attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish.
So, if you are still reading this then please consider the following:
300 words is a small number amid the sea of words that surround us every day. But some may recall that 300 Spartans made a huge difference to the battle of Thermopylae, a story retold in literature and popular films ever since. Or think of it like this, 300 words can be like the mustard seeds Jesus once talked about (Mark 4:26-34), in what are often described as the ‘parables of growth’ for the Kingdom of God. Small seeds, and yet, who knows what growth may come?
- Will 300 words change the world?
- Do seeds?
“Yes” is the answer – in the sense that each can bring life. So, take heart – for you only have to pay attention now to my 300 words that I will share. Admittedly they come from a Christian perspective because that is who I am, but instead of over-analysing what I say, as you read my words, perhaps think about what yours might be – whatever your faith or none. Why? Because it seems we do not have time to attend to much more. 300 words might not be much to look at, but then neither are mustard seeds, are they?
My 300 Words
I am a Christian because I believe there is more to life than what we can own.
There is more to people than a chance group of cells.
We have a soul that seeks fulfilment.
We look for fulfilment in all sorts of ways. But ultimately it comes when we realise that it does not depend upon us becoming bigger, by acquiring more stuff, power, or fame. It depends upon us becoming smaller and seeing ourselves as part of a bigger picture, like a piece in a jigsaw, or a thread in a tapestry.
If God exists, as I believe, I think that is how God sees us. And when I listen to the words of Jesus in the Bible, or think about what he did, that confirms what I feel.
Becoming a bigger person can happen when we learn to give things up.
To let go.
It is in giving that strangely enough, we receive and grow. Sacrifice sometimes makes us stronger, not weaker. Strong enough to face all our fears, even the fear of death.
Death comes in many forms.
There is physical death. But I believe in emotional, relational, social, communal, psychological, even spiritual death. And I believe Jesus can save us from all these ‘deaths’.
Why do I believe this?
Because he already has, in some ways, for me.
And that is enough for me to believe he will do more.
Being a Christian is not about reading books, or being impossibly good, or listening to boring sermons. It’s about being alive. And recognising that this life in all its forms comes from God whose generosity is bigger than death in all its forms.
We are not here to be endless consuming machines.
We are here to be alive and to share life with others generously…