Disclaimer: Opinions expressed by website attributed with the photo credit are their own, FSS does neither claim to advocate or disagree with them explicitly.
Hello, you hear so much about what a committed Christian will do, about how zealotry is good, and about sacrificial giving. (http://fatherspiritson.com/2011/03/zealotry-is-good-lets-get-fired-up/) These things are great for a person with a strong faith in Jesus. But you don’t hear so much about what someone with a small faith in Jesus have. What should a beginner do with their life? Most commonly people will say, “Oh you’re new to Jesus, go read the New Testament then the Old Testament, and study to learn what the scriptures mean.” That is a lot of work that takes years. Yes, Jesus changes people and we shouldn’t try and change them, but I think we can do better on our starter advice than “Go read the Bible.” I want to give you some safe philosophy for living that is good for the new believer.
Jesus talks more on money than on Heaven and Hell in the Bible. The way you spend your money shows a lot about you. I won’t criticize any lifestyle choices here. You should educate yourself to get a moral job. Then work your moral job dedicatedly as if God himself was watching (He is). Then live a frugal life. If you do this and you’re fortunate enough to have savings then save and invest.
People with tremendous faith don’t save and invest much because they want to help the poor more. I’m not about to ask someone with a beginner’s faith to do that though. Just work morally and live frugally. Living frugally doesn’t mean you’re cheap. Living frugally means living with only what you need to do your job and living what you can take. I wouldn’t say to give up your air conditioner, to me that is something I need in the summer. But maybe give up going to the movies and instead get them when they come out on DVD. Pick and choose what luxuries you could give up to the degree that you can manage it. Maybe stop eating out more, and be more dedicated about eating leftovers before buying more perishable foods. Figure out what you can manage to give up or ration in order to save more money.
In the parable of the man who bought bigger barns, Jesus warns of staying in this faith mode for a long time though. If you absolutely are giving nothing to others, and you’re saving all for yourself, it isn’t wise. So give a small trickle of money out to the poor even if you’re at a beginner’s faith. Research which cause you want to support and give them some money, such as homeless shelters, food banks, quality charities, or churches. Give a little now, but still save a lot. By saving a lot, you can avoid the worries a new Christian would have of, “Is this road for me?” The secular road and Christian road can travel the same path for a short while in this way. If you decide Christianity isn’t for you later, you didn’t put yourself at a loss monetarily wise. This can give some people comfort that “trying Christianity” isn’t a negative thing at all.
Like was said in the start of the article, a beginner Christian should definitely study to learn about the Bible. The more you know about the Bible, the more you can identify wolves in sheep’s clothing who are out to make money off you rather than teach you the truth. There are some prosperity gospel preachers you need to be wary of that make dangerous claims. (http://fatherspiritson.com/2013/05/beyond-prosperity/) The Christian walk can have access to prayer, and prayer can make your life and the ones around you better. There are no guarantees in prayer because you look to the Lord’s Prayer and it starts out, “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, they will be done…” Everything you pray for needs to be in the will of God, and sometimes bad things happen even when you pray against them.
Also studying and learning the Bible can help your faith. Jesus was a radical dude who took what the Jews were taught and said it in a different way than was being practiced. In the Old Testament, God acted strongly against people only because he loves us so much and cares for us. Jesus taught that the scriptures said for us to love each other. In Jesus time, many of the people who were supposed to love were in it for personal power. We should try and do stuff in terms of love for others over personal gain. Jesus even taught, “Love others as I have loved you.” Jesus loves us more than any mother has loved her child. So we’re supposed to try and love others to this degree. And to go one step further, we’re supposed to love God even more than that. The key is that we try. I know a lot of people might not seem like they deserve love depending on how they treat us, but we should love all.
A Christian with strong faith will share the Good News with others but you should expect to be insulted. A person new in faith might not want to be insulted and have their faith challenged to begin with. (http://fatherspiritson.com/2013/05/you-will-be-insulted/) So a beginner in faith might feel they need to educate themselves some before becoming an evangelist if they’re called to be one
Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good; impatience will get you into trouble. Proverbs 19:2 GNT
So when you’re new to Christianity don’t feel too much pressure to go out and share it until you at least read the Bible. Beginners in faith should not need to put themselves out there immediately.
What beginners in faith should do is educate themselves on our faith, align themselves up with Jesus’ teachings as they learn about them, and maybe think what they might want to get into later. It is possible to be a common worker who isn’t in the clergy, work a moral job, live a frugal life, and help the poor a great deal. You don’t need to be clergy to do work for Jesus. It takes faith to get to a point where you’re sacrificially living because Jesus sacrificially died for you. And until you get strong in the faith, you can save some money you’d otherwise give.
The biggest advice I can give a beginner in faith is to value your friends and family. Your family can help you a great deal. Your friends are healthy to have. You’re supposed to love everyone in Christianity, so the best thing you can do to start is to love people who love you back. Once you get good at that, you can put yourself out there more and try and love more people as your faith grows.
Educating yourself for your entire life is good. Working as long as you can work is good. Living frugally is something anyone can strive towards. If you have faith you can donate your excess to the poor. Until you have a strong faith, you don’t need to donate a great deal. One primary reason a believer with strong faith lives is to give, both monetarily and experientially. And if you go out there and make friends and keep your family ties strong, you’re set. A person with more advanced faith might put themselves to love people who don’t love back. The key is that as a beginner in faith there isn’t much that puts you at risk. Sure you should put bad habits behind you at your pace. Strive to be a good person in all you do. You don’t need to radically give everything you own away. To give of all you have, it takes a lifetime of work. With a beginner’s faith now, if you save and invest, you always have the option to give it away later. Your beginner’s faith can become an advanced faith with a beautiful transition of planning for the right time for it to happen.