“Help Me” Versus “Have Me” Faith

 

One poster in a daily devotional discussion group observed that having grown up in a particular faith tradition, she appreciated the ways in which it had developed her spiritually.  “But I was never taught that there was any other kind of faith than “help me” faith. I understood that God loves to rescue His children – which is true, but it’s not the full story of faith. I didn’t know there was any other kind of faith until I became a serious student of the Scriptures. I saw “have me” faith when I discovered the continuity of the lives of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Paul and even Jesus. When I saw the failure of King Saul and Solomon and Judas, I realized that there was more to a faith-relationship with God than I ever realized. I think the “help me” theology is rooted in teaching “Bible stories” instead of the whole story of the Bible. When we see the Bible as one continuous account, rather than sound bites, it changes the way we understand faith. At least that was – and continues to be – true for me.”

The discussion continued as additional images were described “Here’s another way to look at it for those of us who like mental images….. “Help Me ” faith: I cope daily by taking faithful drinks from the well of the Holy Spirit for comfort, guidance, and wisdom. That’s OK, but how about this…..”Have Me” faith: I overcome daily not by my own efforts in the flesh, but by allowing the Holy Spirit to become a fountain of living water springing up inside of me, so that I myself become a source of that drink of living water for someone else? And, how about, the wisdom to see when either faith, or both, is happening in my life?”    (by a posting member in a discussion group on daily devotionals).

My eyes were opened to the continuity of God’s redemptive work over the years…. in His Word and in my life. I have tended to think of it as a “red thread” that binds all of creation and all people together in the Holy Spirit. Different individuals had expressed it beautifully….. I came from a So. Baptist background in which I easily observed and learned the same kind of “help me” theology. But Wesleyan theology of my last 47 years so expanded and enriched my knowledge, understanding, and obedience to a God so much bigger than I had ever imagined! It is a joyful relationship in which I live daily and it defines all other relationships for me.

Comments, cheers, objections, and violent disagreements entertained equally....