Why Christians Shouldn’t Have Faith in Humanity

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Classmates shave their heads in solidarity with a sick child.

Someone shares their meal with a homeless man on the street.

A policeman stops to help a little kid tie their shoe.

And the world cries, “Faith in humanity restored!”

Even Christians talk this way without even thinking about it. But I think there’s a problem with Christians using this phrase. Isn’t the fallenness of humanity one of our fundamental beliefs?

Truthfully, we can have no ultimate faith in humanity. 

If our faith is in humanity, our faith is in something that will always ultimately fail us. Back in the Garden of Eden, humanity failed us, in the form of Adam and Eve, and ever since then people have been a mess.

The kid will get bullied. The homeless man will get ignored. The disabled girl will be ridiculed and the bad people will reach the top, no matter how little they deserve it. That one sin back in Genesis started a chain reaction that will continue for the whole history of Earth.

Ultimately people will always fail, and people who put their hope in people will always be disappointed.

But what about all those heartwarming stories, all those people doing genuinely good things? They can’t be discounted completely. They can’t be ignored. If humanity is really in as horrible a state as I’ve described, how do we explain random acts of kindness, acts of service, acts of love?

These things should not restore our faith in humanity. They should restore our faith in God. 

If the Christian looks at the good things in the world and feels restored faith for humanity, they are committing idolatry, putting humans in the place of God. When we look at the good things in the world, our faith in God should be strengthened, increased, heightened.

Because if humanity is really as badly messed up as Christianity believes, the existence of any good at all is proof that God is present, and He is always working.

He is the one prompting people to serve others, changing hearts and changing lives. On our own, humanity can’t get anywhere. We’re stuck in a cycle of anger and fear and hurt and selfishness. But with God, anything is possible. And because of Christ, He can take a broken humanity and bring beautiful things out of it.

So, those “faith in humanity” Pinterest posts and stories on the radio? They should mean so much to the Christian, because we know that the existence of those posts and stories is only because of God’s grace to the world. When we hear them, we should not feel an arrogant faith in the human race. We should feel a humble, grateful faith in God, who is the only source of beauty and goodness, and who can redeem anyone.

Faith in humanity will get us nowhere. Faith in God will.

love, grace

What do you think? Have you ever really thought about this phrase before? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Share in the comments below! 

Read more:

After the Rain: Lessons from a Stormy Day

Why I Don’t Limit Myself to “Christian” Entertainment

Boundaries, Rebellion, and “Living on the Edge”

Cultivating the Lost Art of Gratitude

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The point of Thanksgiving is in the name: giving thanks. Gratitude. Thanking God for all that He has done.

Gratitude seems to be a lost art in today’s world. Complaining and negativity have taken hold and swept the culture away. People just don’t think to stop and take time to appreciate all that they have.

Especially in entitled, materialistic America, the focus is always on things that have gone wrong in our lives, things we don’t have, things other people have done to us when in fact, we have so much more than many people in poverty around the world.

Yes, bad things will happen to us, and yes, living in a well-off country doesn’t mean life will always be sunshine and rainbows. But if we take a few moments to gain some perspective, actually think about the things we complain about, and really appreciate all that we take for granted, I think we will find ourselves much happier and living much better lives.

So, I want to encourage all of my American readers to truly observe Thanksgiving tomorrow. Enjoy the food and family and whatever your normal traditions are with a spirit of gratitude to God for the life He has given you. Take some time alone to pray, thinking back over the year and all that God has given you. Make a list if you want, and focus your heart on thankfulness all during the day.

Then, extend that spirit of gratitude throughout the year. A few ideas:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. I’ve begun doing this; every night before bed, I list out a few things from the previous day that I am thankful for. Having an opportunity to refocus every day is very helpful.
  • Challenge yourself to completely stop complaining for a week (or a month, if you want to get crazy…). See if you can involve friends or family as well, and maybe come up with some kind of reward/penalty system if other people catch you complaining. Have fun with it!
  • Send hand-written thank-you notes to people every time they do something for you, no matter how small. A friend bake for you? Your parents help you with something? Don’t only write notes after your birthday, but look for opportunities all throughout the year!

Focus on cultivating gratitude in your life and see the difference it makes in your happiness and that of the people around you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

love, grace

God Is In Control (Even When the World Goes Mad)

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So there’s a little thing happening in just a few days that you might have heard about. 

It’s called the presidential election. 

If you are now crying, screaming, or running away to hide, this post is for you. 

When we look around at the brokenness of the world, we wonder why. We wonder why God would let things happen, things that are awful and seem to tear everything apart. We wonder why people and the world have to be so messed up.

Everywhere, there is hate and fear and arguing and misunderstanding and death and destruction and sin.

Sometimes it seems like God might have forgotten about us.

But we have to remember that no matter how it seems, He has not forgotten about us at all. 

He is still in control, over our lives and our country and our world and our galaxy and our universe.

No matter what happens, it cannot happen without Him allowing it to. That applies to this Tuesday, and whatever happens beyond. He is in control. 

We cannot understand God’s purposes, and we should not even try. All we need to know is that He promises to take care of us, and that sometimes God works through imperfect people. 

The Bible is full of examples. God doesn’t use only the flawless saint to do His work in the world. He can use the broken, the sinful, the arrogant and hotheaded and liberal.

And so, as Christians, we do not need to fear. We have a faith that will uphold us through whatever might happen with our country.

And so, if you can, vote on Tuesday according to whatever your conscience dictates. And whether you can vote or not, don’t panic or fear. Trust that God has everything under control. 

love, grace

More: God Bless America

5 Ways to Stay Grounded in Truth This School Year

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On Wednesday we kicked off our back-to-school season here on the blog with How to Love School This Year. Today I want to continue with a related subject: how to deal with opposing cultures and viewpoints in school.

This post is geared more toward those who attend a public school, but it can also apply to any secular situation, from school to a job to an extracurricular activity or if you have friends who are unbelievers. Even if you go to a Christian school, you will be faced with situations where you are presented with lies, and we have to know where to turn when that happens.

Here are five strategies to help you stay grounded in the truth during this school year.

1. Remind yourself of the truth often.

Before we can defend truth, we have to know and understand it. And after we understand it, we have to continue to remind ourselves of it from day to day.

Reading God’s Word should be a daily foundation of our lives. It should be the first place we turn when we’re sad, upset, or searching for answers. The Word is Truth, and the only way we can know truth is by reading it regularly.

“The sum of Your Word is truth, and and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” -Psalm 119:160

This school year, make it a first priority to read and reflect on the Bible every single day.

2. Hang out with other people who believe the truth. 

Fellowship is an important aspect of the Christian life, and having strong Christians around you can make all the difference while dealing with a secular environment. Additionally, surrounding yourself completely with unbelievers can be dangerous; choose your friends wisely and make sure you have a good balance.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

When you have Christian friends, you can stand up for the truth together, and if one of you has doubts the others can pull them out of their doubts and help them stand up again. Even just having one or two like-minded people with you in school can make a huge difference.

This school year, choose to nurture the friendships that will help you grow spiritually and let go of the ones that hold you back.

3. Test everything you are told against the truth.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God…” -1 John 4:1a

Especially in a secular school setting, you will have constant information coming your way, and not all of it will be true according to the Word of God. If you follow tip #1 and are reading the Bible every day, that will make it much easier to test what you hear according to what you have been reading.

Don’t accept everything blindly; think for yourself about issues and come to a decision that reflects God’s truth.

This school year, think hard about everything you are taught and test it under God’s lens.

4. Be ready to defend the truth boldly. 

Just as there are opposing viewpoints coming your way often, there will be occasions where you will have to explain your own opinion or get asked a question that leads into some deep religious conversation.

“…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. ” -1 Peter 3:15

Don’t shy away from this kind of conversation! Be prepared for it and seize the opportunity to share your faith and potentially convert someone to Christianity. If you are shy about witnessing, pray that God would give you boldness and trust that His Spirit will do great work through You when the opportunity comes.

This school year, boldly share the truth of the gospel with unbelievers in your path.

5. Don’t give in to doubts, but use them as a way to become stronger in truth. 

Doubting is an easy way to quickly derail your faith.

“…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea who is driven and tossed by the wind.” -James 1:6

But if you start to doubt, that doesn’t mean that all is lost! Everyone has doubts at times, but we have to learn how to react to them in faith.

First of all, remember that feelings are not the truth. Feelings are real and can hurt a lot, but they do not represent the truth about the world around us. When doubt hits you, immediately turn to God instead of away. Ask that He would restore your faith and make a conscious choice to still trust Him even though your feelings would have you do otherwise.

Then, seek out the answers to your questions! Don’t just push your doubt to the back of your mind, but rather use it as an opportunity to strengthen your faith by learning more about God and finding the best answers you can to the questions you have. Spend serious time studying the Bible. Read books about the topic. Ask your pastor, your parents, or other knowledgeable people you know.

This school year, defeat doubt by seeking answers in God and trusting Him regardless of feelings.

 

There will always be challenges to our faith, no matter where our lives take us, but I hope these five tips help you to stay firmly grounded no matter what.

What do you think? Will these tips help you? Have you struggled with doubt or had your faith tested or questioned in the past? Share in the comments below! 

love, grace