Faith is the ability to cast into the question the things we think we know, in favour of open consideration of matters, in the search of truth. It plainly doesn’t make sense to let go of something that looks as if it needs to be held tight. Such is the tension of faith it requires us to do so.
We tell people not to deny their realities but with faith we simply must deny the seen reality in order to place trust in what is hoped for (in a certain way) but is as yet not seen. But this faith has to be based in something, generally separated by predominantly virtuous or vice-related motives.
And this is the sharp difference between ‘good faith’ and ‘bad faith.’ Bad faith trusts in the wrong information; it’s the wrong basis for personal judgment. It trusts in bad, ill-conceived ‘intel.’
Faith is not always easy to discern, which is probably why so few people venture her way. Yet, how common it is that people walk a plain path--one that looks inviting--only to trip up:
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” –Proverbs 16:25 (TNIV). This is bad faith apart from acts of poor assumption.
The Bible links faith with all sorts of wisdom constructs, apart from raw spiritual faith which knows that whilst God is for us, nothing substantial could be against us. (Our realities often present far to the opposite extreme, however--how often do we fear the visible reality, people etc?)
We’re told to take the counsel of wise friends (Proverbs 15:22; 27:9). We trust their judgment and hence faith is strength and courage to endure any hardship to remain loyal to the advice we’ve received. And it invariably (usually) pays substantial dividends.
Faith is a patent denial of the seen reality, and mechanically at least, is not too far detached from the pathological denial that maroons many a lost heart i.e. from bad faith. But, (good) faith is buoyed in truth and wisdom. Virtue and the universal law sees it consistently through.
No wonder many secular people disregard faith. It’s not easy. It doesn’t make logical sense. And it’s so rare that only a small percentage of people know its secret. Little do most understand, however, that a considerable amount of nightly News ‘hero’ stories are full-grown theatres of faith; their endings reveal them so.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.