A simple faith is powerful and resilient,
It’s attained through much fiery testing,
It’s owned in the crucible of the persistent,
And God makes possible such surreal resting.
The first way is how we handle our flaws,
With no room for self-condemnation,
Having opened all grace’s doors,
We have paved the way for self-relation.
The second way is how we handle our sin,
Taking full responsibility when it’s others we hurt,
Ownership unto repentance toward all our kin,
Is about having God purge us of all our dirt.
There are two ideas showcased here. The first is the achievement of a mature faith that is inherently simple, though not naive. ‘Simple faith’ is another way of saying the gift to faith, such that the faith exemplified occurs as if it were a mystery. Those with such a simple faith can quite easily mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice, no matter what is going on in their own lives. Such faith is a gift and there can be no credit taken for it – except praise to God.
The second idea is represented by the second and third stanzas of the above poem.
Too often we tend to berate ourselves for those mistakes and slips that only cost us. Our negative self talk gets out of hand. But those with a productive simple faith – which is intrinsically mature – can easily find the position of self-acceptance to encourage themselves to get back up. This is the first way.
The second way refers to taking the appropriate responsibility for our transgressions against others – our sin. We are typically too quick to shelter from responsibility. We are too quick to make excuses. Our opportunity is to be honest, and, in that, be vulnerable.
We tend to go to go too heavy on those things that will only cost us. Yet we go too light on those things that transgress others, typically by not taking enough responsibility.
We are too hard on ourselves when it comes to ourselves, but we go too easy on ourselves regarding our transgressions against others. God offers us the opportunity to enter into a simple faith, which is inherently mature, in order to not be so hard on ourselves, whilst taking responsibility for those transgressions against others.
Good faith goes light on self-judgment, but it goes heavy in taking responsibility for sins against others.
Mature faith is a healthy self-acceptance blended with a conviction and willingness to repent for sins against others.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: to Mr. David Michie, pastoral supervisor and counsellor.