It is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This makes me wonder why anyone would have good intentions which then fail to pan out and cause a walking away from the faith, or perhaps a drifting away. The answer is simple: Christians are far too often basing their faith and Christian self image, confidence, and self esteem on their accomplishments in the faith rather than the faith itself.
As a Christian parent, I cannot help but wonder what I am teaching to my child. Am I encouraging the creation of a checklist?
- Read Bible
- Give money - Two checks if the giving is done in church and later at a different venue.
- Volunteer - A big check if the volunteering is done for the church, a smaller check if it is done for the local humane society.
- Evangelize - Check minus if the name of the church is not mentioned, the location of the service is forgotten, and no phone number is given. No check if the person says no.
It is tempting to live by such a checklist and derive an inane sense of self worth as the checks are lining up. It is in the slump of the faith, during the trying times, the times of testing, that checkmarks will disappear. Reading the Bible becomes a chore in the depth of depression, and praying after the death of a loved one is hard. Volunteering with numerous small kids may be next to impossible, and evangelizing for the introvert is akin to root canals.
Thus, if I as a Christian parent encourage my child to follow the checklist mentality -- do I not condemn him to a life of fearful mediocrity or numbers-driven excellence that lacks the heart and soul of the faith? Indeed I do, and so will you.
Counteracting this kind of destructive mindset may be done by following the advice found in Romans 7:14-25a. Leave behind the vestiges of accomplishment driven faith and numbers based religiosity and simply return to the faith of belief in God, first and last and always.
Teach children not to base their faith on the things they accomplished in the past, but instead on the potential for greatness that is ahead!
At the same time, it is worthwhile to have a Christian to do list which, much like the bucket list of the movie, may serve as a loosely knit roadmap to a Christian's life and dreams. Just, don't place your faith in it and teach your children not to base their faith into the Christian to do list either.
About Sylvia Cochran
Sylvia Cochran - Christian Parenting Corner and Common Sense Parenting and Parenting By the Book Christian Parenting Book Reviews
Sylvia is a seasoned writer, born and raised in Germany. Having been exposed to a variety of religions and traditions due to travel and study, Sylvia has been a student of the Bible for more than ten years, and has for the last four years taught in small groups about Biblical principles, practical Christianity, Christian parenting, as well as the spiritual use of money. Sylvia also provides Free Online Courses at Suite 101. Sylvia's goal is to provide help and encouragement to raise the next generation of Christ-followers.
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