The vast majority of Americans consider themselves to be people of faith. But a fair amount of these people would likely describe themselves as reluctant rather than committed people of faith.
A reluctant person of faith may be the type of person who consciously chooses to stand back from their faith and not get too involved. Perhaps because they:
- Are waiting for a more visible commitment on their behalf from God
- Have felt that God wasn't there for them at key times in their lives
- Are the type of person who needs foolproof evidence before they commit themselves to something
Some people are reluctant by default. They haven’t made a conscious decision to hold back, but they are too busy to dive below the surface of their faith. Perhaps they have been on the surface so long they don’t know how to get below the surface or, if they did, they wouldn’t know what to do once they got there.
And finally, some people of faith want to move from the category of reluctant to committed, but they feel stuck. They see and know people in that committed category, and it looks appealing, but the perceived gap between reluctant and committed seems much too wide to close.
There are many reasons why a person of lukewarm faith should want to develop and grow their faith, but one reason alone should be sufficient to convince a reluctant person to do so. That one reason is that the life of a person who is reluctant in their faith is inevitably more difficult than the life of a person who is committed to their faith.
Why? Not because a reluctant person has more challenges or difficulties in their lives. I don’t believe the degree of commitment a person has to their faith has any bearing whatsoever on how much difficulty they will face. But I am certain that a person reluctant in their faith experiences more turmoil and despair. You see, one of the greatest gifts our faith gives us is internal peace, regardless of how difficult the circumstances around us become. A committed faith grounds us and gives us the assurance that God is in charge and that He will give us (and everyone around us) everything we need to persevere in life, no matter how difficult or challenging our lives may be. That gift of wisdom, hope and internal peace is a gift that anyone and everyone can appreciate and benefit from, and should motivate even the most reluctant among us to grow deeper in our faith.
Photo Source: Roger Selverstone