Growing up, the idea was that faith was certainty. I guess that’s part of what my dad found so unappealing – the idea that to believe in something meant to be 100% absolutely sure. And not just sure about the big things, but sure about a million little minutiae. To know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what I have faith in, what I believe, is the absolute and entire truth. And, critically, I thought that to have anything less than this degree of certainty demonstrated a lack of faith. An unforgivable denial of what was most important to me.
I’m not so sure anymore. (Oh, the irony). And the less sure I am about some of the things I was so sure about previously, the more comfortable I am with my faith. It becomes something wearable, usable, shareable. Suddenly I don’t have to be afraid to share my faith with people because it isn’t about making sure you believe all the right things, and believe them in just the right way, but it’s about love. Which, when you think about it, makes a whole lot of sense.
My journey from faith to doubt and back again taught me this: if you have to convince people that your faith is right, you’re doing it wrong. When I stripped my faith back, took away all the shoulds and woulds and coulds and whys and why nots, stopped trying to make the God of the Bible be the God I wanted Him to be and started to find out who He really was, I found one thing.
Faith without love is pointless. Love without faith is also pointless, but in a different way. I can get some of the nitty gritty of what I believe wrong, but if I love God, and I love people (and I mean really love them – not this wishy washy I love you if you will agree to eventually believe what I believe), I figure that God is big enough to handle the rest. I believe that God loves me and He loves you. That we all get things wrong and we all get things right, and that I have no way of knowing whether I’m right or wrong about a point of theory. But I am never ever wrong when I love.