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Activist Faith

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Many of us say we want to live out our faith, but how do we go about it? Instead of accusing the church of being full of hypocrites or highlighting the problems in the contemporary church, what if we focused on “being the change” we wish to see in 2018?

After several years of attempting and watching others seek to live out their faith regarding a variety of social issues, I’ve observed five traits among those who live an activist faith.

1. My Faith Is Who I Am Outside of Church

One trait that nearly drove me from my faith as a young person was the enormous disconnect between how people acted on Sunday during a church service and how they acted the other 143 hours a week. I didn’t have to be very old to realize a person who sang praises to God shouldn’t be cussing out his wife in the parking lot after the service.

Of course, many more extreme examples can be noted. But if we look at our own lives, where are areas we each need to change to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem?

2. My Faith Is Who I Am to Those Unable to Benefit Me

One of the sayings I use more than any other is that true compassion is viewing each person as a brother or sister and acting accordingly. It does not matter if the person is gay, straight, homeless, rich, Democrat, or Republican. It should not matter whether the person can help me make money or take my money. All that matters is showing the love of Christ.

Too many people show distrust of others because they have been used and abused by someone in the past. The way to help those in these situations is not with an agenda, but with grace. If I show up, show unconditional love, and offer hope, I can be part of making someone’s life better rather than worse.

3. My Faith Is Who I Am When Everything Falls Apart

When life crumbles, we often do too. But true faith is standing firm and showing love in the midst of adversity.

I remember being in Haiti shortly after the massive earthquake that took 200,000 lives in 2010. Despite the hopelessness of the situation, many people who loved God decided to do what was right and show hope despite the living hell around them. Lives were saved and hope abounded–hope that changed lives for eternity.

4. My Faith Is Who I Am When No One Is Watching

It’s much easier to look like I’m serving Jesus in a crowd. The tough part is staying faithful when no one is watching. The Sermon on the Mount addressed this weakness, discussing both areas of sin and the evil thoughts that motivate these wrongs.

When we are all alone, do we still love God, pray, seek his good, and do his will? If so, we are truly living the faith. Yet when temptations overtake our thoughts and actions, a correction is needed. Only a consistent faith if authentic faith.

5. My Faith Is Who I Am When Everything Goes Right

It is also important to recognize we are susceptible to temptation when things go right. It’s easy to take credit for our successes and to forget God and others who helped make it possible. Life is not about me; I am only an extra in a movie in which Jesus is the hero. If no one notices my work and I am only a name at the end of the credits, that is the way it is supposed to be. God is the one who should get the credit; without him I am nothing.

So how is your faith going? Where do you need to make course corrections? Take a moment to consider what God would have you do differently. Don’t put it off. Start now. Live the life of faith you were truly destined to live.

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Dr. Dillon Burroughs is one of America’s top communicators on today’s Christian issues. He serves as senior writer of The John Ankerberg Show and is author or coauthor of nearly 40 books. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. He lives with his wife and three children in Tennessee.

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