How Do You Measure Faith?

A couple of days ago, a friend tweeted this question, "How do you measure faith?"  Several times, I started to post a response but it just never felt right.  I started with, "Only God knows..." but that's a truism that does little to satisfy our hunger to be more faithful.  Even as I write this, I don't have a good answer but I can start by sharing what I believe it's not:

  1. Our faith is imperfect: Let me be clear, there's no doubt in my mind that a loving God exists and all that the gospel assures us.  At the same time, as an object of creation there are things that I cannot understand and there are trials that I still must face.  To assume perfect faith in the face of those trials would lead me away from the only One who can get me through those trials.
  2. We cannot measure based on our works: The Epistle of James is clear that faith is more than mere thought or words.  True faith would prompt us to act on the love of merciful savior.  However, how we act and how that action looks will differ for each of us.  For some, tremendous faith is required to get out of bed knowing the battles that await.  For another, a long term mission in a foreign country was motivated by a desire to escape his circumstances rather than a servant's heart.
  3. More than a moment or occasional: Several years ago, I had Lasix to correct my eyes.  Within minutes, I went from near legal blindness to 20/20 vision.  Within days I was driving, walking and working with my new vision.  In much the same way, our view of the world should be transformed.  What we view, do, and understood should be through the lense of faith.
So it affects our perspective, others can't see it and we never really get there so it's all relative, right?  To each his/her own, right?  Back to the truism, God knows.  And, I believe, each of us know.  Faith is our desire toward holiness, a deliberate choice to draw closer to God.  So while it cannot be seen, it's obvious.  Part of the obviousness comes from the totality of change.  Beyond affecting what we do on Sundays or what we say before meals, faith affects how we spend scarce resources.  When trials knock on our door, faith enables us to resist the urge to cower and answer the call.  Faith means choosing and doing with no self-interest, out of obedience to His will.  In a world full of darkness, faith is the beacon of light that would prompt someone travel to a distant land and love another with only the hope to they'll one day be greeted with the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

For me, the measure of faith truly is relative, but not as you might think.  I look to yesterday, today and tomorrow.  My faith should be greater today than yesterday and draw me ever closer to God tomorrow.

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