Over the years I have seen some Christians “walk away” from their faith.
- Some walked away because God did not “ZAP” their problems away but instead actually asked them to put forth some effort. They walked away and said, “God won’t help me”
- Some found God to be uncontrollable. When He did not do their bidding, the way they thought He should. They walked away and said, “God doesn’t work”
- Some had only learned a bunch of rules and found that mere “rules of life” were far too hollow to address the complex issues they were facing. They RAN away and said, “God is too strict”
But probably the main reason I have seen people walk away from their faith (or at the very least put it “on the back shelf”) has to do with the following principle…
“THE BIGGER THE GAP BETWEEN WHO I PROFESS TO BE PUBLICLY AND WHO I ACTUALLY AM PRIVATELY … THE GREATER THE DISSATISFACTION WITH MY FAITH I WILL EVENTUALLY EXPERIENCE.”
Hypocrisy (a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess) is killing us. I’m talking about the willful pretending that comes with learning how to “act like a Christian” and being able to speak “church-ese”.
These folks “met” Jesus and then, for whatever reason, started “acting like Christians”… instead of living for Jesus. Over time, they found their faith had become a “game to win” and their sins became toys to hide from others. Rather than their faith being an adventure to be lived and their sins “landmines” to avoid. They walked away and said “my faith is just a game”.
I believe that any Christian who pretends for a long period of time is in danger of “just walking away”. Dads, Moms, sons, daughters, pastors, Life Group Leaders etc…. all of us can pretend if we are not careful.
EVERY TIME we “fake it” in our faith we are driving a nail in our spiritual coffin. It creates in us all kinds of nasty traits like: deception, cynicism, sarcasm, mistrust, callousness, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy, disingenuousness, strife, selfishness…… but wait… there is more… these produce in us fear, anger, frustration, disillusionment etc….and ultimately we just walk away like the rest.
Don’t agree? Examine your own life… in those times that you were willfully hypocritical (and we all have been once or twice) what did it produce in you? Ya see?
The ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM is pretty simple…”treat God like God” and not like your grandfather, waiter, crazy Uncle Lou or trained dog. See Him for who He is….REAL, CLOSE, ENGAGED, ABLE, FIERCE, CARING, STRONG… and CRAZY ABOUT YOU! No need to pretend (fear of man) and no need to hide (pride)
ref. Phil. 1:6, 2:6, 1 John 2:5, John 3:16,
(excerpt from “Things They Did Not Tell Me About My Faith” – Hixon Frank 2007)