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You “little-faiths”

How would you react if your pastor or elder told you that your faith was still pretty immature? I suspect we would be hurt, offended, and defensive. What if you (elder) or you (pastor) were to be informed that YOUR faith was still little? When was the last time someone put their arm around your shoulder, and with gentle but deliberate words, said to you, “Listen, little-faith, this is no way for a Christian to behave”? When was the last time that a preacher, with loving voice and tender charm, held out his arms from the pulpit and said “Dear ones, my heart longs for you, but your faith is small.”

We just don’t talk that way to one another. But Jesus did. I was reminded of that this morning in reading Matthew 16 in my J.B. Phillps translation, where Christ heard His bickering disciples and said to them, “Why all this argument among yourselves…you little-faiths?” The condition which His gentle rebuke was intended to expose was the immaturity of their faith. Their quarreling was the occasion of this observation by Christ. But that wasn’t the root of the problem. Arguing was the symptom. Little-faith was the disease. They were grown men with little-faiths.

A Christian may be a true believer but have little-faith. A mustard-seed faith will save a man. But faith is meant to grow (2 Thes 1:3). Is your faith growing? Is my faith growing? We love our little children, but we also want them to grow up. I love putting a little tomato plant in the ground, but I expect it to flower and bear fruit. Jesus accepts us just as we are when we come to Him in repentance and faith. But He never intends us to stay that way.

Today I’m going to meditate on what a growing, maturing, developing faith should look like.

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