As our society grows more and more complex, our ability to juggle it all deteriorates. We make choices as to which activity, passion or pursuit we’ll entertain with our attention. And in the midst of this, we often push our faith to the margins of our life—to become something we do on the side, when we’re not focusing on our career or taking care of our family. How do Christians live out their faith every day?
The danger of today is that in this excess of choice, we’ll choose everything and let the things that matter drown in our flooded schedules.
This is what has happened to many of us. We’ve let our faith become a Sunday thing, not a 24/7 thing.
Of course, I speak this from experience. There were times when I was overwhelmed with zeal and passion for ministry, and then other times when I struggled to do my devotionals. I still struggle with living faith out every day, especially amidst my heavy entrepreneurial schedule. But in bearing the dissatisfaction of a complacent faith, I forced myself to adopt new habits—habits that would allow me to bring my faith to the center of things again.
They are habits I learned from watching others and following their example. Now I’ve put a vocabulary to what they did differently.
Consider these few habits of people who live out their faith daily, and learn from their example as well:
1. People who live out their faith have restorative times built into their days.
A pastor I know is an introvert, but with his job, he can easily be with people all day. He knows what he needs for his wellbeing is times in which he is quiet and still—but not times in which he is doing nothing. In this time, he is consuming God’s wisdom and taking the time to let something higher influence his actions.
This is what we all need for a healthy faith. In a time where messages are always being thrown at us, we need the space and quiet to let the right thing speak to us. It’s how we oil the gears of our faith so it can operate daily.
2. People who live out their faith don’t see service to others as a special, designated time.
Bob Goff, the author of Love Does, never saw love as something to schedule. He was always acting on his love in whimsical, daily ways. But today, we often designate this kind of service as something special or unique. In our small groups, we set aside time where we work in the soup kitchen. We designate blocked off times to do an act of love. And then we return to not practicing it daily.
We can’t make this distinction with service any longer. Christians are meant to exude this serving love every day, and the more we entertain this perspective of service being something special we do, the more we divorce it from our daily lives.
Love should not be something we schedule. Love should be a reflex.
3. People who live out their faith consider character, when everyone else considers outcome.
Christianity gives us an awareness of our internal matters. It allows us to not be blind to how certain decisions affect our heart. But most of the time, we can only be focused on our external success, and how outcomes can make us profitable or not. We can entirely ignore character if we’re not careful.
The people who live out their faith daily always keep an eye on their character. They never wholly follow a decision that leads to a profitable, external outcome. They weigh the heart behind the matters.
So next time, don’t silence the voice that begs you to consider character in a situation. Instead, amplify it.
4. People who live out their faith cultivate and sharpen community in all contexts.
I have a friend who intentionally creates community everywhere—even at the job he hates. He’s not concerned about whether or not he can be friends with certain people. He simply gives all people around him the space to be themselves—and that creates, sustains and sharpens community.
Creating community is about adding value to people’s lives. It recognizes that people are not to be used but loved.
A person who lives out their faith every day is involved in the messy work of creating community because they believe people are in their lives for a godly purpose—not to be wasted for a quick flash of entertainment.