I am sure that any former skeptic has seen what a lukewarm, halfhearted Christian looks like and agrees that it is not the type of faith any of us want. Seldom does it lead to living like Christ full of love and generosity; more often seems to breed a life of hypocrisy.  Joy, peace, love is found in a deep seated faith and trust in Christ.

It’s easy to look around our world today and see all the reasons why not to believe, to see endless things that breed doubt. It’s extremely important for new believers to realize that our faith is active, not passive. Like a plant, it takes care and work to make it thrive. We can’t just neglect it and expect it to grow or blossom.

 

Here are 4 simple ways to work on maturing your faith:

 

Read Your Bible:    This is the most important way to strengthen your relationship with God. How can you strengthen any relationship unless you take time to get to know the other?  It’s the same here.  Find a translation you like- the language of the ESV or NIV Bibles is much more accessible and easier to understand than the traditional KJV; if you need some help understanding what you’re reading I would recommend a study Bible as it has notes that help to explain certain verses, history of the time, etc.  You can choose to read your Bible cover to cover or partake in a Bible reading plan. You can set aside a certain amount of time or a certain number of verses. Heck, listen to it in the car as you commute.

Whatever way you choose to do it, I would recommend you find a way to make it a daily, yes daily, part of your life.  The benefits of this are too numerous to mention, and frankly you probably wouldn’t believe me, but I promise you will see them interweave themselves in your life.  Warning: You will start to understand all those cliche terms like “Thirsting for the Word”, so be prepared. *Wink*

Pray:    That’s right. This whole Christian thing is about having a relationship with God. Talk to Him. Thank Him for all that is good. Ask Him for help. Ask Him to help you to better understand His plan for you, to better love & honor Him, to help you deepen your faith. Ask for anything you need; He wants to hear from you. We are told to pray continually, do your best to do that.

Write it down:   One of the things that has most impacted my faith is to write down what I’m praying for and to keep track of when (not if but when) they are answered. Some folks like to write it word for word; I prefer to keep mine just the simple idea. Here is a Pinterest Board that has a plethora of ideas for you, whether your fancy & artistic or simple & busy.

Essentially, it’s a solid, concrete way to see God’s steadfastness and to help you build a relationship of trust. To let your weak ol’ human heart see just how amazing your Father is and why it is so worth relying on Him. It’s easy to look back at something a day, a week, or a month later and say, Maybe it wasn’t God. Maybe it was a coincidence. Maybe this or maybe that. Committing it to paper, some place you can go back to and actually see the volumes of answered prayer is enough to stomp out any doubt.

Make a Friend:     I don’t know about you, but this adulting thing is hard, especially when it comes to making friends. Striking up a conversation in line at the grocery store is more likely to get you eye rolls than friends. This is important, though. You need someone you can talk with about your thoughts, your growth, your questions, and your doubts. You need someone who can hold you accountable, to call you on your bull, and to encourage you when you throw in the towel.  For some of you it may be a spouse or family member, for others it may be near impossible because other Christians don’t exist in your current circle of friends. This is another reason it’s important to seek out a church – you need to surround yourself with a place that gives you the potential of new friends (just because their Christians doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be BFFs). Oh, and pray. See #2. Pray for this.

 

Remember, faith is active. It takes participation. Don’t let it stagnate.