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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: 2 Timothy 1

I was very blessed to be raised in a family where one’s faith life was considered to be a very important thing that required a good deal of attention. Not only did my folks talk about the importance of faith – they modeled its importance to us in a variety of ways. For that, I will always be grateful.

Some of the most important moments of my faith life, however, came later on in my life when I had to make the faith I had heard about from others my own in very deep and profound ways.

My first experience of this happened when I came out at the age of 25. My second experience was when my home church discontinued my candidacy for ordination – once again, due to my sexual orientation.

Each of those situations was absolutely crucial in my spiritual development – for they caused me to bump up against other people’s opinions of God and come to my own conclusions about God (and where I stood in relation to God). Even though those experiences were some of the hardest experiences I’ve lived through, I wouldn’t change either one for anything in the world. For it was in the midst of those circumstances the faith I had changed from being the faith of others (i.e. my loved ones and my Sunday school teachers) into my very own faith. What a powerful transition that was!

Needless to say, I had some mixed emotions when I read the words contained in today’s passage from 2 Timothy 1 where the author wrote: “The precious memory triggers another: your honest faith – and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you!”

As I read those words, a part of me knows exactly what the author meant – for there is nothing like being able to receive the roots of your faith from those whom you love deeply. On another level, however, I feel a twinge of sadness that the author didn’t include talk about encouraging the individuals to make their loved one’s faith their own faith.

Today I would invite you to examine the substance of your faith. As you do so, ask yourself where this faith came from. When you find those parts that were passed on to you by others, give thanks for the life and witness of those individuals who helped shape you. When you find those pieces that are uniquely yours – pieces forged through your own personal experiences and encounters with God – don’t forget to give thanks for those as well.

Til next time…

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