Faith Relight

We, humans, are a body and soul that contribute to our human identity. With that, we deal with the good and evil in us. It's no doubt we have that in our spiritual learning. We struggle with the evil inside us as we try to live holy lives with God as our example.

But as flawed as we are, we tend to repel others from coming into the Light. Instead of becoming radical, relevant, and selfless, we're becoming religious, ignorant, and self-seeking. Worst of all, we're not the way Jesus wants us to be.

And I won't pretend that I don't have this unattractive attitude. I thought I was shining for Him until I evaluated my testimony. It was far from expected. I felt bad about it and said to myself, "There's a need to change from the inside out."

I learned of 12 toxic attitudes that cause the repellency, and here's the list:
  • We live in a way to please others, therefore becoming self-conscious.
  • We follow God's commandments, yet become critical to others.
  • We focus on looking perfectly clean and absent of any mess to ourselves.
  • We feed ourselves with things that keep us dead.
  • We place God as the harsh man we need to be scared of, as it's the "fear of the Lord".
  • We make the Bible as a weapon to win arguments with people.
  • We correct Christ-followers with different theological views in a damaging way.
  • We treat the church as an ordinary venue to handle weekly activities.
  • We heavily judge people who do acts we perceive to be sinful.
  • We make ourselves the faith-superior ones for everyone to follow.
  • We like being influential a lot more than being responsible.
  • We grow as a body of Christ and make the church a place for public entertainment.

As I reflected on these, I can relate to almost all of them, if not completely all. It saddens me to learn that these are manifested in the faith I embrace and love. I learned of how it has become distorted in our times today, and I cry for restoration. It's time for Christianity to go back to how it was originally intended to be.

I believe that Christianity will continue to exist. It'll stay further if we bring back the burning faith that has attracted, moved, and influenced others to follow God. And it should start from us.

Thankfully, I learned of 12 ways we can put the heart with to prevent these turn-offs. So here are these ones:

1. Know who we really are in God.
We are God's beloved. He loves us as we are, and He's One worth pleasing. And what joy to receive His approval, which is far better than anything. That's our worship to Him.

2. Have a heart of mercy.
We give them loving kindness. We treat them as family and pour our hearts in understanding them and standing up for them against their oppressors. Hope can lighten them up with that.

3. Have a heart that's full of Him.
We keep ourselves empty of our self-preoccupation and full of God's presence in us. It's a better way to live for Him. Otherwise, we have a toxic, judgmental, faith that lacks self-awareness.

4. Seek to be holy because of a holy God.
We take things that give us life. And we do that with God-driven gratitude. In that way, we can respond better to attuning ourselves of a sound mind, heart, soul, spirit, and body. That brings life.

5. Honor Him in every way.
We do the right thing in respect or awe to Him. It's all done out of love. And when we love, we don't want to do anything to hurt Him. That's the kind of heart to cultivate.

6. Read the Bible as a vital guide in our lives.
We read it as a way to evaluate how much we emulate Jesus' character. We also accept the mystery surrounding it. It's part of how we grow ourselves in faith.

7. Teach doctrine basics and essentials with patience and encouragement.
There are those who still have to know them. These are also reminders to ourselves to strengthen the faith we believe in. In that way, we can play God's song not individually, not in unity.

8. Treat the church as a place to experience God.
The church is meant to be a place of worship. It's a temple where we can get to feel His presence in us. In that way, others can get to see the reality of an existing God.

9. Show love to sinners and victims of sin.
We love and see the good within them. We don't become rule-enforcing. We can stand up for them against their critics. In that way, we can cut off divisions for humanity to be reconciled together.

10. Present the faith in a loving manner.
We reach out to the hurting ones and love them the way Jesus loves. It's a way that gives no room for our privilege, legitimacy or supremacy. That's where we can attract them to the God we serve.

11. Have the heart and mind of a servant.
We don't push our self-importance. Not only do we do things for other people, but also we put ourselves beneath them. Instead of ruling over them, we empower them.

12. Make church as a settlement of God's kingdom.
We're pilgrims of the faith. We're on this journey day to day until we reach a Kingdom where we worship Him as Our King. And what better way for us Christ-followers to manifest that.

With all that's learned, it's time to take a step forward. It's time to work with the issues that keep us from effectively reaching out to others. They won't get fixed overnight. But if we allow ourselves to go through the molding process, we can become the better individuals we can be. We can reach our peak to fulfill our mission and influence fellow believers to lead by example. Through this, we can reignite the faith that has captured the hearts of many to follow Him.