Parents say things that drive their kids crazy (and vice versa). There are even some things parents say that kids say they would never say when they are parents (or simply adults). As part of yesterday’s service at CCC, we created a video with a “Top 10 Parent-isms” list for a touch of fun to introduce part 7 (Problem Solved) in the Starting Point series.
These parent-isms certainly weren’t exhaustive or even necessarily listed in any specific order with the exception of #1, which was “because I said so.” When it comes to what we believe, many people were given a framework for what to believe from their parents (or maybe even another influential adult). Somewhere along the way, someone said, “Believe this” and as kids we said, “Okay.”
Another somewhere along the way, this “because I said so” framework of belief got challenged by circumstances in life that caused what we believe to get confused or fuzzy. “Because I said so” no longer held up under the tensions and struggles of the world in which we live.
Fortunately, what we believe doesn’t have to stay a “because I said so” faith. Instead, our faith (what we believe) can be nurtured and grow as we move from childhood into adulthood – even in the midst of a world that sometimes doesn’t make sense.
Take a few minutes to read Matthew 17:14-20 and consider the following questions about growing what you believe beyond a “because I said so” framework.
- What is something your parents said to you as a kid you said you would never say as an adult/parent?
- Have you ever said what you said you would never say? Share the situation.
- What might it say about the “faith” of the boy’s father that he was willing to bring him to Jesus’ followers to be healed/
- How might the inability of Jesus’ followers to heal his son have impacted the father’s faith?
- Why do you think Jesus called the people gathered there “faithless”?
- What do you think a world without the ability to believe in something might look like? Would you want to live in that kind of world?
- How might Jesus’ ability to heal the boy have impacted the faith of those who witnessed it?
- Beneath the surface of healing the boy, what is in the question Jesus’ followers asked about why they could not heal him?
- What do you think Jesus meant when he said his followers didn’t have “enough faith”?
- In what ways can faith (no matter how small) grow?
- What has seemed impossible to you that you now believe might be possible through faith in God?
- What next steps will you take to embrace what changes about what you believe?
Faith is sometimes the most confused and misused concept in all of religion (though it’s not exclusively a religious term). Faith is sometimes used to try and get what we want with no regard for life, others, or God. In this case, it really isn’t faith at all.
If we were to embrace a “because I said so” belief system, what Jesus said might be the most effective “because I said so” starting point. After all, if he could predict his own death and resurrection, going with whatever else he said might not be a bad option. Plus, he pulled off the resurrection – which is an event that becomes a starting point simply beyond just what he said.
Today is Monday – make it a day that you embrace what changes about what you believe (not just because of what Jesus said but because of what Jesus did).