‘People of Faith’ means what?

Crist Langelett
The Chaplain’s Corner

Most of us think positively when we hear that someone is a person of faith. I certainly do. It would be interesting to ask a high school or college student to do a survey on the subject. They could take a random sample of a predetermined number of fellow students. A newspaper or TV station could do the same. There can be no doubt that the number of kinds and variations of answers would be great.

We could do the same type of survey within each of several cultures in our Twin Cities area. This could be done nationwide or internationally. 

Generally speaking, when we talk about being people of faith, we think in terms of involving the help of a higher power to help love and care for other people. For some, this is a set of doctrines. Others think in terms of responding to certain traditions. Being a person or people of faith in our society needs to produce some positive results. The Book of James has much to say about being a person of faith. In James 2:18, we are told that simply believing in God or one God is not enough. It says that even the demons believe in God and shudder. The word “faith” in James means to affect good and positive results.

Faith is a powerful force that moves people. History records the lifestyles of many religious leaders. These were mostly people of faith of one kind or another. Many have had powerful and positive influence on millions of people. We who embrace Christianity as our focus of faith have a very high standard to follow. Actually, we do not focus our faith in any set doctrines of Christianity. We focus our faith on the founder of our religion.

If we believe the Bible to be God’s letter to His people, we have some very clear guidelines. It urges us to imitate our Founder. The first chapter of John tells us that He made the world (the universe). A few verses further in the same chapter states that He then became a human being. All of the mineral rights to all of the resources in planet earth are His. He made them. Then He donated His riches to the people that He redeemed to use as people of faith.

People and programs of faith make good neighbors. People and programs of faith help make inmates get straight and stay that way. Without that, most of them go back to prison. People and programs of faith help to make people who are addicted to alcohol, meth, food, abuse, cocaine, money, sexual assaults and the like get straight and stay that way. Without those programs, most of these people revert back to their old way of life.

What does it mean to be people of faith in our society? It simply means to repent and ask forgiveness from our old self-centered lifestyle. It simply means to place our trust in the One who made us and then redeemed us. It simply means to ask Him to live in and through us. It simply means to study His guidebook and faithfully and prayerfully seek to live out what it says.

For those who want to have fun, being a person of faith is the recipe.

 

— This is a Chaplain’s Corner column reprinted from a past issue of Lillie Suburban Newspapers.  

— Crist Langelett writes a monthly column on faith. He has served as chaplain for the city of North St. Paul, its police and fire departments and as a chaplain and Bible study leader at the Washington County jail. He is a founding member and volunteer at the North St. Paul Area Food Shelf. 

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