"We say, 'Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.'"
Quinn G. Caldwell
Belief is an assent to a proposition or statement. Faith is the suite of actions, attitudes, and choices that proceed from trust in something powerful and important.
I want to have faith in God alone for my salvation. I want—a lot—to be able to say that my faith in God is the primary motivator for the shape of my days, the disbursements from my checking account, the way I spend my time.
But if you were to reckon up the way I spend most of my money and free time, here's what you would think that I have the most faith in: NPR, The New York Times, novels, Facebook, Dan Savage, my dog, and cable TV. I do believe that most of them are good for me and good for the world. It's just that none of them are likely to make me righteous in the eyes of God, or to save me from much of anything that really matters.
On what things do you spend the money, time, heart, and devotion that you'd rather give to God? In what good things that will not save you have you placed your faith?
Today, whenever you sit down to one of those activities, pray the Lord's prayer one time first, and remind yourself what truly deserves your faith, and what doesn't.
God, you have filled the world so full of good things that it is easy to lose my focus on you. When you notice my attention slipping, bring it back to you. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is Pastor and Teacher at Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, in Syracuse, New York, and co-editor, with Curtis J. Preston, of the Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ, published by The Pilgrim Press.