If you consider an imaginary line on the ground which is intersected by two points. One point is at the end of the line and signifies a mature Christian faith. At another point further down the line there is an intersection which signifies the initial point of faith. The line then carries on beyond the starting point to symbolise those who don’t feel they have a faith at all. The question is, where would you place yourself on that line? It is my hunch that very few people would say they had a mature faith, and the majority of people would be either side of the point of initial faith.
Yet the important point is not where you place yourself on the imaginary line, but which way you are facing, your orientation towards the way of Jesus. If we are striving to follow the way of Jesus then it doesn’t matter if the point we find ourselves on the line is almost of the scale. For some there may be a point that they can label when they started calling themselves a Christian, for others there is not. However that becomes less important if the language that we use is about a journey of discovery, as opposed to faith, which is a difficult concept to get your head round. If you strive to follow Jesus then your orientated towards his way.
For me the orientation of your life is important, but the second critical area is nutrition. We grow towards a mature faith by feeding ourselves the right ingredients. That is reading the bible, taking time for prayer, meeting together with other people who strive to follow the way of Jesus, and finally living out our faith in words and actions. That way we don’t suddenly jump from a tentative faith to a mature one, but evolve into love, into following Jesus.
Base image by Tim Dendy and idea behind “evolve” words by Mark King both via twelvebaskets.