Part 5 of 6 in the series Childlike Theology:
As children, we express faith in our parents by obeying them to stay safe. As adolescents, we risk danger in order to express faith in ourselves.
I have come to believe that the hallmark of a mature faith is wise risk. Which implies we should be designing our lives — and churches — to maximize learning rather than avoid failure.
My underlying premise is that “I am stupid, foolish and weak — but God is good.” The corollary is that my concept, appreciation, and utility to God is far below what it needs to become, and thus my deepest need is to grow in knowing, valuing, and obeying God.
While external instruction can provide a useful scaffold, I believe the only way to truly know what God is like is to put Him to the test by obeying. Leave your nets and follow me. Step out on the water. Take up your cross. Sacrifice your son.
Here’s the hard part: we learn the most when we our faith is stretched to the breaking point, when we’re no longer sure whether God really is that good — or whether we even heard Him correctly. Especially when most people around us are sure we have not.
And sometimes they are right.
That’s why it is a risk, and why we have to be wise. But we still have to do it. Otherwise, we are doomed to only know, trust and obey the cultural God of our environment, rather than the living God who call us His child.
And God wants way more from us, and for us. Because He loves us like a Father. Like Jesus. And He is worth it.