Reality: Gritty Faith

You know what?  I think some people are deathly afraid to “believe” in God and Jesus and Salvation.  They are afraid of setting themselves up for disappointment.  They are afraid of being a fool.  They are afraid of giving up whatever little bit of emotional power they still control.  They are afraid of putting it out there and getting nothing in return.  Essentially, afraid of a bad investment. 

In the books and movies, faith ALWAYS works out.  Good guys win, bad guys lose.  But in real life – on this Earth – that formula is NOT guaranteed.  While the movies do a great job of making it look perfect, unfortunately the formula doesn’t look like this:

. Life in Ruin / Broken Home / Financial Disaster
+ Find God / Accept Grace and Salvation
= Win the Lottery / Get Your Dream Job / Family Restored / All Is Well

I wish it looked like that, but most of the time it doesn’t (again, except in the books and movies).

Anne Lamott, a favorite author of mine, once said “I wish fiction by Christians offered more such realistic portrayals of Christians behaving badly.”  I couldn’t agree more.  I wish the books and movies portrayed what really happens when a heart and mind finally submits to God.  How a life of real faith really looks with its ups and downs.  Honestly, it’s the same as a life without faith, just that there is an added inner hope and joy.  Real faith, that believes in Jesus, becomes a catalyst that creates this inner joy that does things in a heart that are unexplainable.  And in time, if welcomed, changes us from the inside out.  Sure all the same circumstances of life will still exist, but the added component of “this faith” changes how we put one foot in front of the other.  How living a life of faith, and stumbling and grace and stumbling and grace shows more courage and strength than any high-powered CEO in charge of the world holds.

A life of faith – for those I know – it’s not depicted in the Amish Romance Christian novels and movies you’ll find on Hallmark (although there are the rare few that do live those lives); rather, it’s more like what you’ll find on late-night Showtime.  It’s a little gritty and raw. And continuing to believe through the hard times is what drags us along into the light.  It provides a hope that is incomprehensible.  I can’t imagine how I would have EVER gotten through and continue to get through the issues of the last couple years without a faith to cling on to; without a faith that works like an anti-anxiety medication.  I am far better off believing in God, one way, one path, one Jesus, one salvation than I would have even been on my own.

I suppose you could still be afraid to believe, but the way I see it – if I even get results for a minuscule one-millionth of what I believe – it will have been worth every single bit of faith I had.  Someone else said it another way when writting: “I feel that if I believe for a lot and even get half of it, I’m better off than I would be to believe for nothing and get all of it”. (J.Meyer)

It’s not hard to believe… but it can be hard to “just do it”.   From this stubborn-I-can-do-it-on-my-own-girl – I can say I fully believe in what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Now days, I rest easier in troubled times than I ever had in my past.  That’s what faith can do…

What has faith in God done for you?  OR  What do you need your faith in God to do for you?



Copyright © 2009- 2010 Sherry Meneley . All Rights Reserved . . . soiled wings

5 thoughts on “Reality: Gritty Faith

  1. Reminds me of a poll I put up. I really want to read some Christian fiction that is real and gritty. Not in our face overly descriptive sin but real struggles and failures. I want to write it but would it ever get published …

    I hate when people paint this picture of becoming a Christian=happily ever after. Jesus tells us to count the cost and makes it clear that this isn’t a one prayer fix all.

    Thanks for this.

    • After I had finished writing this post, I went to google my quote by Anne to make sure I had it right – and that’s when your post/poll appeared (since I had used Anne’s quote as a comment on your blog). You had some really good points there about Christian literature!
      I agree – let’s stop making “Christianity” look like happy-go-lucky stuff.

  2. I agree with your appraisal of faith as depicted in books and movies. Unfortunately, it’s more prevalent in those produced by the very people who should know better. It’s as if Jesus needed pitchmen (persons) to sell the faith on the Trade Show circuit — all Sham-Wow and K-Tell Eight-Tracs.

    I was at a conference a while back where a Christian film-maker spoke. I admire his passion, and I am thrilled with his story of God’s direction and intervention. But if I’d had the guts, I’d have pulled him into a corner and pleaded, “Would you PLEASE MAKE MOVIES THAT ARE REAL?!!!”

    I continue the search for movies, art, and books that tell the truth. When I find them, I want to be the advocate. When I find the other crap, I want to disavow myself from any complicity. (It’s hard sometimes when you’re in the position I’m in).

    Thanks for letting me jump on this bandwagon.

  3. Faith in God has given me an inner peace that I can not describe. Like you said, bad stuff still happens in life but Gad makes it so much easier to deal with. I rarely feel lonely anymore. It makes me focus on what’s really important and not all the materialistic things we think will make us happy.

    Now when it comes to movies and books whether it’s Christian or not I think they all have happy endings because that’s what sells! My favorite (although very sad) movie and book is A Walk To Remember. It shows how faith can change a person for the better (the guy) but the girl who always believed still dies at a young age (but at peace with it).

    Thanks for a blog that I will definitley be sending to some people in my life who need a little faith!

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