Qualifier: This is not an article on faith versus works. This is a personal reflection that explores the idea on whether knowledge of the Bible, theology, and spiritual practices are equivalent if not more important than the living of the Christian life.
My new life as a Christian for me started on October 25th, 2012. I had no idea what was in store for me. For some odd reason, I had decided to go on my youth group’s fall retreat. I was sixteen at the time. For the first time in long time, I had fun. This retreat showed me a community of people that cared for me. On Saturday night Jerry Varner preached a message out of Genesis twenty-two and tied it into his theme “Altered.” Jerry spoke, then the worship started, God spoke, and I had a choice. God had just showed revealed to me that Xbox was an idol in my life. I didn’t completely understand at the time, but I knew that I was never going to play Xbox again.
Now I am at school. I am in a social system that is more supportive of the Christian life than a public school. Plus, I am learning a ton. With each class I take my understanding of the Bible and what it means to be a Christian changes. The struggle for me this past year has been what does it mean to live the Christian life. My faith started as a change in my lifestyle, and now I am in a period of life where I am questioning the value and degree to which it means to live a Christian life. Does living the Christian life just consist of learning more about the Bible and what it means to relate to God? Or is living the Christian life just living a morally upright life and praying before I eat my food? What does it mean to live the Christian life? Jesus never answered that specific question (or any question) very clear.
The events of that retreat in 2012 didn’t lead me to join a bible study, or even to go into ministry, but it led me to live a different life. I did join bible studies, and start to increase in my knowledge of various aspects of the faith, but most importantly I lived my life differently. Anyone can take a class or increase their knowledge. Lecrae mentioned in one of his songs that “we’ve been looking for salvation in education…” Education is awesome. However, by itself, my education cannot save me. It is interesting though because the classes I take consistently challenge my understanding on what my faith is and what my role is within the faith. Even though I wrestle with this idea on living the Christian life, I think there is no substitute for living the Christian life. Whatever that means. Basically, just increasing my knowledge on faith is not living up to what God has called me to do in life, even when sometimes I feel/act like it is.