Home » Christianity » I Don’t Walk Alone

I Don’t Walk Alone

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We’ve all had some kind of belief passed down to us, whether that be Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam or even Atheism. Our up-bringing gives us a platform by which we view the world.

As children we probably didn’t have much say in the matter, we just followed the path of our families. But part of maturing includes our questioning things and working them out for ourselves.

When I ask a person what they believe, I anticipate an honest response supported by a compelling explanation. I hope for something to walk away with and think about. Challenge is good, and in the end I’ve benefited from having undergone a time of searching, probing and testing.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to:

“Test everything. . . . hold onto what’s good.”

Having faith is a matter of having complete confidence in something or someone. Throughout our childhood we leaned on our parents for direction, but there’s a pitfall in blindly adopting whatever our fathers believed based simply on the notion that they must have been right. What if our fathers’ beliefs were based solely on the belief that their fathers were right— and so on down the line. We’d be pinning our hopes on the premise that some ancestor, somewhere, actually carefully explored the question of God. That’s really not a belief system—it’s just following the path of family tradition.

In a fast paced world, upholding a faith tradition can serve as a manageable substitute for the deeper pursuit of God—not to mention being far less time consuming. Some defend their apathy by embracing the theory that, “All faiths lead to God.” Logically that just can’t be true—there cannot be contradicting yet true realities!

Atheism might be a freeing choice for some. It takes away all the pressure of making the correct eternal decision. You just live, die, and decay—there would be no conscious soul left behind to suffer the consequences of having selected the wrong religion. You take nothing with you and most will leave nothing behind. No one will likely remember your name fifty years after you’re gone—you’re just one highly analytical, insignificant spec in time with no inherent value or purpose—but you are free from the burdens of religion imposed on mankind.

I prefer adopting a faith worth following. Although my parents were Catholic and I am non-denominational, I don’t see myself as leaving the faith of my parents, but rather I embrace their strong belief in God and trust in Jesus Christ. They didn’t really know the Bible well or have a “faith vocabulary” in which to articulate the God they embraced, but they had a peace that surpassed all comprehension and genuine love that authenticated His presence in their lives.

As I walk on without them, I’m comforted knowing they left behind not some tradition, but the one thing they valued most yet couldn’t force upon me—their appetite for God.

. . . and for that I am eternally grateful.

Photo credit: / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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11 thoughts on “I Don’t Walk Alone

  1. Great post, Gene.
    I think you and I had very similar paths, raised Catholic… It seems the problem for openly searching is too much respect for generational beliefs. Our family was Irish Catholic on both sides – every relative I had was Catholic. My going to a non-denominational church was a big deal. But it’s even a bigger deal to even question matters of belief in Hindu and Muslim homes.

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    • Thank you Bill. You’re right, generational beliefs can be tough to question in some homes, especially those following non-christian beliefs like Muslim and Hindu. Thank God my parents were Christian.
      I was Polish Catholic, a lot of wonderful traditions there that still have a warm place in my memory.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Gene, I find your words comforting today as I watch my own sons question faith. The love of God is what drew me to Christ, and I’m trusting the Spirit will draw my children close to Himself too. I came from a background where faith issues were not discussed, and where church attendance was something I did apart from the family. So I know God is able to start at mile zero and still bring us to the finish line in time.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wendy, I’ve been writing some small group lessons on Paths to Faith. We all start somewhere and most of us take on the beliefs of our parents up until we get to the age of questioning. If we continue to simply hold onto a faith of tradition we really are doing nothing more than going through the motions of religion. Its good to question and even better to be challenged. That’s where we find ourselves and a clearer picture of God. And remember, we’re not talking about a God who hides from us, but instead He reaches for us, all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess I am non-denominational too but I know if someone asks me I say i am Protestant though that can be a division too.
    We Christians are good at creating diversions when the real focus should be Jesus.

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    • There are some absolutes in correctly identifying oneself as Christian, regardless of which denomination a person belongs to. They are that Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; that his life on earth, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven are proof of God’s love for humanity and God’s forgiveness of human sins; and that by faith in Jesus one may attain salvation and eternal life. This teaching is embodied in the Bible, specifically in the New Testament, but Christians accept also the Old Testament as sacred and authoritative Scripture.
      Denominations find themselves divided more on the personal preferences of religious traditions than they do the absolutes. Any conversation with me always starts with what we agree on and if we don’t agree on the absolutes the rest really doesn’t matter.

      Liked by 1 person

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