We cannot read the story of Jesus’ walk with His disciples without being amazed at how frequently they misunderstood His teachings and behaved in ways that were contrary to His intent. Yet, remarkably, Jesus didn’t give up on them. He didn’t cast them aside in favor of a new group, with fewer challenges—the way we might have urged Him to do.

A Closer Walk 1 | A Strategy for Addressing Guilt

It is important to consider some of the implications of actually living as a disciple of Jesus. The core question is whether or not the kind of faith we have is sufficient for the challenging moments of our lives.

So let’s consider a working definition of faith: Faith is a state of relative certainty about matters of ultimate concern sufficient to promote action.

Faith is our basic operating system, our worldview of how life operates, where the connecting points between the divine and human exist, and what they imply about how to live life in the now and here-after. We all have a basic faith. So the process of balanced living is to evaluate that worldview as time goes on to make sure it’s based on as much reality as possible and that it works itself out as effectively as possible in today’s world. The truth is, we need regular “up-grades.”

So how does this work? Unlike our computers, where we receive information about operating system upgrades as often as they come out on the market, in our faith life we don’t necessarily receive those advertisements. But perhaps they do come to us in different forms and equally frequently.

Here are some questions to ask yourself regularly as an evaluation of your need to upgrade your faith:

  • Does your current worldview adequately answer some of the basic questions of life such as: Where have I come from? What is my purpose in the world? Where am I going ultimately? How do I explain evil and suffering in the world? Does that explanation make sense to those who are suffering? Does it provide a degree of comfort and hope?
  • Does your current worldview give you courage and strength to face the difficulties of life? Does it give you a reason to live, even when the going gets tough? Does it give empowerment to others going through difficulties?
  • Does your current worldview prompt you to an active life of compassion, justice, and service to others? Does it reinforce the human core value of equal rights and respect for all? And does that empower you to treat all others in harmony with those values? Does your current worldview center on the highest core values of what it means to be human? Does it bring out the best in you and others?
  • Does your current worldview shape you into a person that people enjoy being around? Does it give you a humble confidence in who you are and what you’re all about? Does it make you approachable to people who are uncertain about themselves or life in general? Does it make you a person who listens well?
  • Does your current worldview empower you to face death with confidence, no regrets, and peace?
  • Does your current worldview leave open the possibility of God? If so, how you describe God? If not, what do you replace the God-factor with? If you answer no to any of these questions, or if your answers are a bit hazy or incomplete, then you would benefit from a faith upgrade. So how does a faith upgrade take place most effectively?*


* Adapted with permission from the iFollow Discipleship Resource, ©North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.