18 All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with this message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, CEB
Over the past few days we’ve been talking about this question: Is proper belief more important than faithful living?
We’re all adults here, right? More or less. We know that this is a trick question. We know that beliefs matter and we know that faithful living matters. In general, one is never more important than the other, though individual circumstances may dictate we prioritize one of over the other for a brief period of time. We live faithfully as best we can and that leads to certain beliefs. We learn as best we can and that leads to certain patterns of faithful living. It’s all jumbled together.
So why do we insist on separating the two? Why do we abandon our faithful practices in order to fight about beliefs? Why do we slander those who care about beliefs while saying, “…all that matters is how I live?”
We are so prone to competition. I haven’t learned too many things in life, but here’s one thing I have learned: we need not compete. Especially when it comes to faith. We need not compete. If one of us has learned some good “believing”, then let them teach and let us listen. If one of us has learned some life skills that support faithful ways of living and/or our recovery practices, then let them teach and let us listen.
We have to work together. It’s too hard to sit there and bicker about who is right and who is wrong and, in the process, drag each other down. Let each of us share the wisdom we have so that we all may benefit from each other’s trials.