We are what we repeatedly do. ~Aristotle
I don’t think Aristotle was a Christian but his quote struck home as I prepared to write this blog post. Today, we will talk about things that we do and how they influence us as I share with you three free tools you can use to build your faith.
The first tool is a personal favorite. It is an app called YouVersion Bible by LifeChurch.tv. This Bible app allows you to connect to God whenever and wherever you are. I use it all the time to look things up. It offers read through the Bible in a year plans and many devotionals to chose from. There is a highlighter and bookmarks so you can remember what verses jumped out at you. I love that you can post on social media as well. This allows you to connect with others by sharing what your learning. It truly is one of my all time favorite apps. I hope you can benefit as much as I have.
Perhaps you don’t want fancy smart phone or electronic tablet. That’s fine a paper copy of the Bible isn’t outdated. It stands the test of time! The important thing is to read it, often.
God tells us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a once a week kind of thing if we want our faith to grow. It is a curious thing… the more you read and study the Bible the more you want to read and study the Bible. Remember the old potato chip commercial “Bet you can’t stop at one” implying they are addictive. That’s what I mean about God’s Word. The more you study increases your knowledge of how much you need Him and what He has done for you. It builds a ray of hope inside us. Its that glimmer of light that propels us to dig in deeper. It’s my dream that hope is planted in you to grow and flourish so you can in turn reach out to others.
What we read is very important but what we think can undo all of it.
Aristotle said, We are what we repeatedly do. It isn’t too hard to see that we are what we think, too. The second tool is a gift given to all of us by God himself.
It is our mind.
We can shape our very future by the thoughts we feed and cultivate; our self-talk. It is common for us to think thoughts that cut ourselves down.
Look at these and see if you think they build faith:
- I can’t do it.
- It’s too hard.
- I’m no good.
- I never do anything right.
- Nobody loves me anyway.
- I’m too fat.
- I’m too slow.
- I’m too old.
- I hate me.
You must always press into your mind that God didn’t make junk! From the majestic mountains to the tiny hummingbirds His work is perfect. It is true with you, too. Have faith He made you just right. Throw out the expectation that you should be someone else. Cultivate (think about and practice) being the person God designed YOU to be. You can live boldly knowing you are loved just the way you are. Society (and the pressure to conform to their standards) fall by the wayside when you realize it just doesn’t matter to God. He wants you to be who He created you to be. No one else.
With this confidence you can adapt your thoughts to build you up!
- I am really good at these things.
- I am just right the way God made me.
- I do have a few extra pounds but I can exercise a little here and there.
- I am not as young as I used to be but why should that stop me.
- I like me.
- I can try new things.
- I can fail but that’s ok I can try again.
- I don’t have to be someone I am not.
- What the world thinks is far less important than what God thinks.
- The world may hate me but God loves me.
Now, imagine your world as a loved and nourished child of God. Let us focus our thoughts on doing what we can do and getting the job done.
Perhaps the next tool is obvious to you. The third tool is prayer. It is a free way to connect to God, build faith, takes very little of your time and changes your life forever.
A person commented recently that I pray funny. It struck a cord with me that most people consider prayer to be a formal rigid ceremony to the “Great Almighty God up there in the Heavenly Realms” (spoken in a deep lofty tone with slight echo). I am not like that. I consider Him to be my best friend forever (BFF) who I chat with on the phone six times a day, visit at the kitchen table while I cook dinner, in the passenger seat while driving down the road and all the other everyday events that I do. He’s my companion. We hang out all day and talk nonstop. So it is a casual, conversational style of prayer.
Me: God, I was thinking we should adopt some kids from foster care. You know like older kids cause it would be harder to place them and they’d want to stay together.
God: No. (In the form of my husband saying, No)
Me: Well that’s what you said last time and I am not sick anymore so I was thinking this is a good time in our lives.
God: No. (In the form of my best friend saying, Are you sure that’s a good idea right now.)
Me: Then Darrell could have more siblings and the house would be full of noise and adventures and…
God: No. (This was just me hearing Him.)
Me: But, I…
God: Aren’t you listening to Me? I said no. (God said to me, in a slightly irritated tone straight into my thoughts.)
Me: I hear you now loud and clear. Well, what is it you want me to do then?
You can see how far from perfect I am in my faith (smirk with a shoulder shrug) but my point is that talking to Him in prayer doesn’t have to be a perfect recitation of something you memorized. When we talk to God, we open ourselves up and bare it all to Him then open ourselves up to listening. It’s the listening that allows Him to guide us in our decisions. If we are walking the path He laid out for us it always turns out better (than the ones we choose ourselves).
It is my prayer today that each person reading this post is touched and your faith will grow.
In observing my behavior over the last several decades I tend to follow leaders whose faith is a solid foundation in Gods Word. Look around you for someone you can hang around with that builds you up to be the person God designed you to be. Since none of us are perfect, find more than one. As always, I invite you to join us at rachelfasnacht.com for more inspirational writings where we help people start up businesses and develop them into the leaders God designed them to be.
P.S. If you are local to Cape Girardeau, MO and you can not afford a paper copy of the Bible I will give you one. Just let me know.