What does it mean to be a Christian and follow Jesus? The answer to the question is multifaceted. Lately, I am pointing to three different areas that express our faith.
1. How I think. One of the most significant places where Christ must have an impact is in the mind. Paul challenges his readers to transform their thinking by the renewing of their mind. We are called to have the mind of Christ in us. We are to strive to make God’s thoughts our thoughts.
2. How I feel. There is an emotional connection to God as a believer. Our emotions are to be trained to realign themselves from the desires of our flesh into the satisfaction of faith. Our feelings can deceive us because the heart is deceitful above all things, but they can also enhance our spiritual journey when they are lived in faith.
3. How I act. What you do in any given situation is perhaps the ultimate expression of our faith. The words that come from you mouth, the actions of your hands, and the service of your life are expressions of what you really believe.
Here is what I have been noticing lately. All three of these must be working together for us to have complete faith. The Pharisees knew the right thing and even did the right action, but the feelings and intentions of the heart were wrong. They did stuff for self-glory. A hypocrite knows and feels the right things, but the actions do not line up. A moralist can do the right things with good intentions, but not do them for God. There thinking is skewed.
All three dynamics of faith must be in harmony.
If that is true, each one of us must continually ask ourselves honestly, “Which area am I falling down in my faith?” Do you need to learn more? Do you need to develop a deeper emotional connection to God in faith? Do your actions need to change? The temptation is to focus all our attention on the one or possibly two that we like the most and neglect one of these. A complete believer is continuously striving to elevate faith in all levels.
Which one of these needs the most work in your life?