Have you come across the definition that wikipedia.com gives for "Faith in Christianity"? Here it is:
"In the understanding of Jesus it [faith] was an act of trust and of self-abandonment by which people no longer rely on their own strength and policies but commit themselves to the power and guiding word of him in whom they believe." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith_in_Christianity, accessed 11/27/13).
Isn't that wonderful? From a secular dictionary, no less.
Don't you love those words?
- act of trust
- act of self-abandonment
- no reliance upon own strength
- no reliance upon own policies
- commitment to power of whom we believe
- commitment to guiding word of whom we believe
The Free Online Dictionary defines "policy" as "a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or individual."
I love definitions because they help us really examine the words we throw around so easily. That policy/strategy/course of action is adopted: it's chosen. Everything we do is a choice. It's not because:
- I had no choice.
- Of course, I should react like that.
- There isn't anything else I could do.
- He/she made me act like that.
If we are trusting in Jesus and responding out of self-abandonment, with no reliance upon our own strength or policies, because of a commitment to Jesus' power and guidance, we always have a choice. Because we have the Holy Spirit's power to act in ways pleasing to our loving God.
Of course, since it's Thanksgiving time, I've heard a lot of talk about being grateful. I didn't really stop to realize I wasn't "adopting a policy" of gratitude myself! I was just floating along without much thought.
But now I'm consciously thanking God for so many things, even challenges. And I thank God a lot for you! May the Lord bless you abundantly with blessings on this special day.
(Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net)