Monday, June 14, 2010

Romans 1:1-15

It’s so incredibly important to find people who will not only support us, but encourage us in our faith. Attending church, particularly small groups or Bible studies, can be a powerful tool in finding friends with similar values who can encourage us to grow in faith and love. Still, it is not as easy as it seems. I attend a Christian college and have been attending church faithfully for my entire life; one might assume that every person I meet at such institutions would automatically be encouraging and supportive. Most people are supportive, that is true, but I have found that it is a rare, true gift to find a friend who is truly encourages me.

This encouragement is often challenging; oftentimes my friends will tell me things that I do not want to hear. Yet, I am so grateful for my friends who ask me, as a part of everyday conversation—“How are things with God going? What’s new in your faith life?” And although sometimes it irks me, I do appreciate the reminders—“Have you been reading your Bible? What have you found interesting? What have you been learning about God lately?”

I think a lot of Christians feel that they know pretty much all there is to know about God—we’ve been reading our Bibles our whole lives, going to Church, attending Bible studies. We don’t need other people to challenge us and our preconceived notions, our established conceptions of what God is and of what faith looks like. Somehow, God comes to be an ‘easy’, ‘comfortable’ notion.

It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into, and it strikes me as a pretty foolish view. God, after all, is so incredibly BIG- He is so beyond our comprehension, and His goodness and love are so all-encompassing, so infinite… it often seems to me that our little human brains could only ever gain a fraction of understanding in this mortal lifetime.

And that’s one of the reasons mutual encouragement is so important. To encourage us so that we don’t lose heart, yes, that’s important. But also to remind us that God is big and we have much to learn, and to encourage us not to stagnate in our faith and our knowledge, but to be the dynamic, ever-questioning, ever-learning sons and daughters that God created us to be.

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