November 28, 2012

Second-hand Faith

Lamentations 3:22-24

[God’s mercies] are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
—Lamentations 3:23


Many people who are not yet Christians may have a hard time imagining themselves accepting Christ.

Maybe they have had some bad experiences with Christians in the past and can’t imagine themselves being one of “them.”

Perhaps they carry hurts or shame and they can’t imagine letting go of what happened a long time ago.

In situations like that, it can be helpful to provide someone with chances to “borrow” your faith for a while to try it on.

For instance, offering to pray for someone can be a great way to let people embrace your faith without strings attached.

You could say something like, “When I’m feeling stressed, I find that prayer (just talking to God) really helps. Would you like me to pray for you?” Most people are fairly open to being prayed for by someone else, even if they haven’t prayed much or aren’t sure what they believe about God or prayer.

Each situation of prayer and conversation about God registers in a person’s mind as a little faith experience. Every time someone hears a good rumor of things God has done, or every time God’s Word influences their own life story, they begin to imagine what God might do in their life. And that’s a step in the right direction.

Lord, make our faith contagious. And use us where you will to bring faith to others, for your sake. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at

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