21 Days of Faith – Days 6/7

My response to day 6 is short and sweet:

No, I do not feel God is prompting me to give up anything as an act of spiritual devotion. There are a myriad of things I could give up in the name of spiritual devotion but at that point I’m just trying to earn brownie points with God.

My response to day 7:

I don’t agree with the first paragraph. It seems to be saying we shouldn’t try to get approval or affirmation from our fellow humans. This is a very nice and spiritual sounding statement. I can see the logic behind it too – human approval is so fleeting and conditional, why should we bother with it? The only person’s approval and affirmation that matters in the eternal sense is God’s, and we have that through the resurrection of Jesus.

Unfortunately I think this is a case of taking the spiritual side of things too far, to the point of neglecting the practical side of life. To a greater or lesser extent, we all seek out approval and affirmation. It’s not because we’re arrogant – it’s because it’s a psychological necessity. It’s been my experience the people who say these things aren’t necessary, are either the ones who already have it in abundance, or are fooling themselves. Why shouldn’t a child seek the approval of its parents? Why shouldn’t a wife seek affirmation from her husband? So many relationships are built upon these kinds of things. When I look into the Greek word for “boasting” used in Romans, the implication is the sense of overdoing your own greatness. I agree that is sinful. But saying “Hey look at this thing I did, isn’t it neat?” – you’ll need to convince me there’s anything wrong with that.

On the other hand, there may be people out there who are so convinced of God’s realness and acceptance of them, that it legitimately does not matter if they have approval or affirmation from others. This is an intense confidence in God, and I applaud such people. But is it realistic? I’m only speaking from experience so I could be way off, but I don’t think so.

Have you ever been in an argument with someone and realized way too late that the issue you were arguing about wasn’t really important, but you both just wanted to be right? Being right is a deep need we all have.

Not really, no. I don’t get into many arguments.

What made Abraham righteous?

His faith (trust, confidence) in God’s promises.

What does it mean to be right in God’s eyes?

It means to have your sins forgiven. This happens through faith in Jesus.