What is Faith?
Along with 8% of the world’s males of Northern European ancestry, I am color blind. As is my brother. Although there are many colors we can see, we frequently mix them up. In elementary school, we colored the grass orange and the trees brown, much to the confusion of our friends and teachers. One time, we almost created an Amber Alert (though such a thing didn’t exist at the time) when we told a teacher we were waiting for our mom to pick us up in her orange Volkswagen bus, only to hop into my mom’s green bus.
Despite my inability to recognize colors, I collect the evidence around me to determine what I believe the color to be. Such evidence might include the time of season (people increasingly wear green, orange, and brown in the fall), or the occasion (red and green during the Christmas season), or common knowledge (blue and green are the colors of the Seattle Seahawks).
I also learned to pick up on clues about what clothes matched versus clashed—often learning via ridicule. Of course, the best evidence is the testimony of a reliable source, such as my wife. In the same way, we all gather evidence in an effort to make rational decisions despite unanswered questions. These types of faith commitments are everywhere. So, what is faith?
Faith is like putting your weight onto something, like a bridge, and seeing that it holds you up as you cross a river. You are forced to put your weight onto the bridge without complete confidence the bridge will hold you. Faith is a response to evidence—it involves a choice; an act of the will.
Many people think faith in Jessus is like taking a blind leap into the dark. But from a Christian perspective, faith is following the evidence that leads into the light. Jesus did not ask his disciples to take a blind leap of faith about something they knew nothing about. Instead, he asked them to review the evidence.