The difference between faith and lip service - Jason Smith

I mulled over a few potential topics for what to write about this week.

At first, I thought about writing something funny -- something to give readers a chuckle as they go about their day at home or at the office.

But, something kept gnawing at me, telling me I should use my writing for a more important subject.

I recently began participating in a series at my church, called The Truth Project. It addresses the way in which the concept of truth has been obscured in today's society, in favor of a more post-modern mindset, in which everything is relative.

One of the first questions asked by the host of the program, on the DVD I was watching with other participants, really struck me. He asked, "Do you really believe that what you believe, is really real?"

This sounds like a simple enough question, but the implications behind it are much deeper, and thought-provoking.

I attended a Christian school from kindergarten through 12th grade. As a child and into my teenage years, I attended services at Independent Baptist churches. I was brought up to believe God is in control of all things, and that He is Lord of all He has created.

While I am eternally grateful for the values and beliefs my parents strived to instill within me, I also know a lot of what I was taught in school and church wasn't challenged that much.

As a result, what I knew about Christianity and about God was on a surface level. As I have gotten older, and life has become more complex, I haven't made a regular practice, as I should, of studying my Bible and increasing in hunger for God's truth.

One of the consequences of such laziness and apathy, has been a tendency to worry and become discouraged by every little trial that comes along.

But, if I really believed what I say I believe, and lived like it, there would be no need for such a reaction.

If my life were truly guided by an unwavering faith in God, it would influence everything I do and every conversation I have.

Being a Christian is about more than giving lip service to God. I have heard all my life that it is about worshipping Him in everything I do, with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.

It's one thing to know the truth. It's another thing to live that truth out in every-day life.

The problem, I believe, is not that I don't try to live a good life, but that my faith isn't as strong as it should be.

I desperately want to change that, because, as the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God."

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.