One of my friends who is not Christian recently asked me how I could believe in God. After reflecting for a minute on my own I simply replied, “Why would you not?”
I understand that people – good people like my friend – may think Christians are crazy or blind for believing, but I also find myself confounded by their lack of faith. How do you make sense of this insane world without a belief system? How does a family handle death and tragedy? How do individuals and couples make decisions and set up their lives together? What do you tell your kids when they ask big questions? Why even bother getting up some mornings?
My guess is that most people have some sort of belief system or at least a moral compass that guides behavior and thought; but does that moral compass provide hope in the midst of despair? Can they look at death and see the gate to eternal life? Can they experience even while suffering the presence of a loving God? Does their belief system offer forgiveness? Does their moral compass provide new life? Believing may seem crazy, but I don’t know how people go through one day in this life without it.
The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, “God has graciously granted you the privilege of believing in Christ.” (1:29)
I do not have a good answer for my friend as to why I believe, but I am starting to think that it is truly a privilege. Faith shapes my life. Faith informs my decisions and pulls me beyond my own selfish wants and desires. Belief in Christ gives me the strength to walk boldly into tough situations with courage and hope. Faith helps me see new life. Faith helps me make sense of my life and the world around me.
I am not writing this to slam my friend or anyone else without faith. Rather, I’m writing to you and to anyone who has ever had to answer that question: How could you possibly believe? Belief in Christ is not crazy. It is a privilege. Faith is not a burden or a chore. Faith is opportunity and provides joy. Belief in Christ not only provides forgiveness and community, but it empowers us to get through situations that “be a good person” theology cannot.
God has granted you the privilege of believing in Christ. Make no apologies. Instead, give thanks.
In the Way,