How exploration of our beliefs can lead to deeper faith.
Posted in , Jan 23, 2019
Like everything else in life that evolves—our physical bodies, knowledge and understanding of how the world works—so should our faith. If we remain stagnant and stuck in our beliefs and spiritual learnings, without delving deeper, we confine our understanding of who God is to our human ways. We will never fully comprehend the many mysteries of our faith. But with effort, we can mature in our understanding.
Fear can prevent us from exploring faith on a deeper level or questioning the knowledge passed down to us from spiritual teachers and loved ones. We may be afraid of discovering things that will disrupt or dismantle our theology. It can also be intimidating to expolore faith on our own, without letting the beliefs of others get in the way. But we must not let fear stop us from exploring, inquiring and re-examining our belief system. The purpose should always be to grow deeper in our relationship with God and to put aside those things that hold us back from living a richer spiritual life.
When younger, I remember debating with an older Catholic gentlemen in my community about the story of Jesus turning water into wine. At the time, I was sure that Jesus turned the water into a non-alcoholic grape juice as this was what my church believed. A few years later, I learned that the man’s version of the Biblical story was correct. The spiritual leaders of my church believed that drinking alcohol was sinful, thus they interpreted the story to align with their values. We have the right, responsibility and capacity to mature our spiritual growth.
At first, some discoveries will make us angry, confused and even cause us to feel guilty. But when we separate the process from the knowledge we gain from people or institutions, we have an opportunity to learn the truth and grow from it. As I think about my faith journey, I’m reminded of the question Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you think I am?”
Lord, open our eyes and ears to new dimensions of our faith and give us courage to search for Your truth.