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Faith Life

Owning Your Faith

Have you ever seen small children fight over toys? One child sees another playing with the toy they want, and before you know it, that toy has changed hands often before the owner of the toy realizes what is happening. Usually, tears are shed, and statements are made like, “mine, no it’s mine”. Before you know it, you’re playing referee to two people both claiming ownership.

Ownership can be a powerful thing. You feel things like love, pride, responsibility, and even jealousy. Bottom line: You feel differently about things that are yours versus things that are not yours. Have you noticed that people tend to care about their own things?

Your actions are often informed by your ownership of an item. People tend to take better care of their own stuff than the stuff they rent. Things you own matter to you. Ownership can also be applied to living things like pets. We all know that person who treats their pets as members of the family.

Children who are victims of abuse are born with an ability to love their parents, simply because they are theirs, regardless of how horribly they are treated. Parents feel a deep sense of ownership for their kids, not the slave/owner type of relationship(like some children might believe), but one that instills an enormous degree of love and pride that only your kids can receive, no matter how much they may or may not deserve it.

People often join the military to protect their families. They take the mission to protect our country personally and apply it to their own families. Most of us will agree that when something is yours it becomes immediately more important to you than something that is not yours.

Not all ownership has to do with the legal right to control or do whatever you want with what you own. Ownership can also apply to the state of your heart. This is aligning what you say with what you do.

Many of us take our faith cues from our parents, Pastors, or other influential people. When this person makes a statement, you accept it as fact, because your faith is rooted in what they believe.
Owning your faith is a completely different concept and means that those influencers are not the primary source of what you believe – you are. When you allow others to determine what you believe, you are essentially “renting” or borrowing your faith.

Now the real question is, are you renting or owning your faith?

If you’re owning it, that’s awesome, but if you feel that you don’t really know what you believe, it’s time to pick up a hammer and do some demo work on your faith house before you can make it your own.

What should you do?

1. Dedicate yourself to reading the Bible

The Bible is full of amazing truth and transforming power — anywhere in the Bible! Commit yourself to read the Bible. When you come across something that doesn’t make sense. Ask questions. Your Pastors would LOVE to answer your questions. There’s nothing that warms a Pastor’s heart like answer questions about the Bible. The main thing is that you read, understand, and apply what you’ve read. God’s word is transformative in that the more we know, the more we can live like Christ.

2. Get connected

Hebrews 10:24-25 “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Your church has many areas to be involved in. I would highly suggest getting involved in a small group.

Join a ministry. There are many great ways to give back to your community. The main point is to spend time with other believers. This will challenge you in your faith journey as hearing perspectives from other believers will help you to grow. Don’t take everything they say as hard-truth, just consider and read God’s word before you make their perspective part of your belief.

3. Learn how to pray

Prayer is such a huge part of your growth as a believer. Learning to talk to God in every circumstance will help you to rely on God. The main point here is to not overthink it. The Holy Spirit prays when we pray too. Even if we don’t know what to say.

Romans 8:26 – “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”

If you don’t have the words, it’s ok. Just pray. Talk to God. Think about God as your very best friend who is waiting to hear about your day, how you feel, and what your thoughts and dreams are.

Let’s turn in that rented faith and choose to own our faith. We all need God’s power to live righteously in this world. Your faith is a big part of that and belief rooted in God’s word will allow God to work in ways that you’ve never imagined.

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