November 18, 2013 3:34 pm EST
How do we build faith?
Faith is a gift; faith is continually expanded in a state of grace.
How do we then achieve and maintain a state of grace?
Grace, by its very definition, is freely given. Grace needn’t be deserved nor earned. Nonetheless, grace, like any gift, can only be received by a willing and ready receiver. We first open our minds and hearts to God. Then we open our mouths and ask. Finally, we open our arms to receive.
Regardless of religion or specific belief system, the process is the same. We set aside our selfish natures and seek some higher power. We ask that higher power, who we seek to continually know more fully and intimately, for the gift, the grace, of faith. We start small. None have ever begun the path with perfect faith. Few ever achieve lasting and consistent faith. That’s perfectly okay. God doesn’t insist on perfection, only humble obedience; we ask and we receive.
But why does my faith falter?
This is human nature. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Practically no one has perfect faith. The better question is: how can I continue to sustain and grow my faith? And the answer to that question is simple. Practice. Whether through studying inspired writing, through prayer and meditation, or through communal seeking with like minded others, practice is required in the care and feeding of faith. Very much like the reality that we must feed ourselves well and exercise to maintain physical health, we must feed our minds, hearts, and spirits in order to keep fit with sufficient faith.
Decide today to exercise your faith. Commit to renewing that decision each day and to consciously engage in activities which will strengthen, grow, and bolster your faith. Study, connect, live with gratitude, pray, listen, and give. Choose to ask for more faith in each difficulty. And choose to ask for more faith in the calm and bright days, too.
Love and grace,