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Authentic Faith

by Stanley McMahon  
5/31/2012 / Christian Living

Spring is sprung, and no I am not talking about our bed at home, although it does remind me of our first settee. As humble ex-Bible College students, we couldn't afford the best of furniture so we invested in a bulky big pink settee and two chairs with huge arms like something out of a Victorian period drama. The seats were great. The only problem was that the settee had a thick spring protruding! Embarrassing it was, especially when visitors came to tea. But for the most part it was functional.
Sometimes our lives are like that. They look great on the face of it, but there is always some awkward sin or habit that rears its ugly head, time and again. This makes us not the people we would like to make others think we are, but if we are honest, we are works in progress. And that is alright. The Bible never tells us that we are not sinners and that there is something sub-standard about our faith if we are less than perfect. The fascinating truth is that we can paint a picture, and often do, to our brothers and sisters in Christ that might look exactly like that: the perfect person or couple with the perfect family and the perfect life. It almost sounds like something to be held up as an ideal. But that is not what we are called to.
Christ calls us to authentic faith and honest living. This will mean stripping back the perfectly painted images that we wish were real and saying, 'Actually, I am not really like this. I have a thick, uncomfortable spring, protruding through my perfect veneer and I can't quite seem to deal with it, but the Lord is working on me.' Anything short of this and anything else is simply not true.
We are not called to be super-spiritual, just as we are not called to isolation. We live in the reality of the consequences of the Fall where there is frustration, unfairness and resentment at every turn. It is in this mess that we experience as life that Christ comes with His redeeming power and transforms our lowly efforts of making sense of it all into spiritual life, which the Holy Spirit then turns into holy character and fruitful living.
So this Easter, while you contemplate the cross of Christ and His resurrection, think on the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, but peel off a few layers yourself, lay your life at His feet in submission and admit that though you may not be what you would like others to think you are, you are willing to become what Christ is willing to make you into, to His glory!

Long-time writer, life-time learner and happily married for nearly twenty-seven years. I am inspired by life and my bottom-line is faith that works. Live in Northern Ireland and engaged in church work full-time.

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