What a burning question, is it not? Is my faith public enough to be challenged? This a question that has stuck with me for about two weeks since my youth pastor asked this rhetoric question in his study and all I could that about was two incidents that had happened several days prior to hearing this study:
One afternoon I was doing my usual 3:15-6 o’clock after school care and two of the students walked up to where I was sitting and plopped down a notebook filled with questions about the Bible. One of the girls proceeded to ask me, “Why did God create us if He knew that man would sin?” I went on to explain what the word of God says about sin and how He gives us the option to follow after Him and that He never forces us to follow Him. Once she understood, she then went on to ask me her second question, “If God created a perfect world, why did He allow sin to enter the world?” Now this question really got me. I sat with her reading different translations to find where God said His creation was perfect. But then I realized, God never said He created a perfect world. In Genesis 1, the only thing the scriptures say is that God said that it was very good. Everything God created was very good but He never once said perfect. I then sat with the girl and showed her how easily people can take the bible out of context when they start adding their own words to the scriptures. I showed her how to study scripture with commentaries and how to do cross referencing. Throughout my entire time talking to these two girls, the girl with the questions kept asking me, “but how do you know?” and “why?” These questions really tested my faith and I had never been challenged like this before. Thankfully the Lord gave me the right words to say to these girls and I was able to exhort and encourage them in their walk with God.
A few days later, I was playing basketball with them when they started to recite several scriptures back to each other and yelling them as loud as they could to one another. They were obviously fooling around but the next thing that happened really blessed me. One of the girls said that they should pray, so they both went on their knees and held hands and began to pray. The prayed for one anothers walk with God, for the people hurting around them, for their families, for the friends, and all the teachers at the school. This was such a special moment for me because I saw two girls who, earlier in the week had so many questions about God, and now they had a new found understanding and trust in God.
I never knew that my faith would be challenged by two middle schoolers but it was and I’m glad it happened. These girls are used to memorizing scripture and always start with religion class everyday but I got to show them a deeper way of reading the bible. I showed them how to study the scripture, how to support their actions with scripture, and the importance of not taking scripture out of context just like how I’ve been taught. Now these girls come to me with their questions and when I don’t have the answer we research together. These kids challenge me in a way I was never really challenged before and I hope they keep challenging me everyday. So now I ask you: is your faith public enough to be challenged?