Keeping the Faith

In high school, I had the same science teacher three times. I have always loved math but science gave me an outlet to use my beloved math. Coach Shorter was one of my favorite teachers in High School because he introduced me to applied science.

After I graduated from college and was raising my family, I heard that Coach Shorter had gotten into some legal trouble. I was saddened by the news. It’s hard when people we respect and admire disappoint.

After I learned of Coach Shorter’s discretion, I did not question the science he had taught me. He was in my life for a season. He had done his job well. The lessons I learned in his class helped me throughout college. I still remember his pedagogue and use it in my class today. His discretion did not negate what he was sent to teach me.

Over the last three years, I have been disappointed by so many Christian leaders (locally and on national platforms). So many men and women who have spoken truth into my life through their books, you-tube videos, and conferences over the years, have seemed to goo the rails. Since 2019, my church has asked two pastors I respected to step down, leaving a path of hurt, confusion, and disappointment.

I know I am not the only person experiencing this. I have heard many stories of people leaving the church because it has become difficult to distinguish pastors and politicians these days. I know, I have questioned, “If these people are so wrong about this, was everything they taught me a lie?”

If you have left the church or if you are questioning your faith, allow me to encourage you to do three things:

1. Give yourself freedom to question what you have learned. But let me warn you, if you just go to another teacher to find truth, you will inevitably end up back where you started. I suggest you take whatever you are wrestling with straight to the source, God.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you truth in scripture. Take the time to research the meaning of words in Greek or Hebrew. Read several translations. Chew on topics for days. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Father’s heart behind certain passages.

Ask someone you trust to help you process what you are hearing.

2. Avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water. Everything you learned from the leader with whom you are struggling, was not a lie. Most of it was solid teaching. Remember God uses flawed people. God speaks truth through flawed people. Cling to what was true and question (see #1) things are not sitting well in your spirit.

Be thankful for the seasons when those teachers helped you grow in your faith. Remember times when they challenged you, encouraged you, prayed for you. There was more good than bad, I promise you. Their indiscretion did not negate the truth spoken into your life.

3. Don’t run from, run towards. Teachers are in our lives for a season. However, until you are released by God, stay put. Do not leave a church or the Body of Christ just because you are hurt or disillusioned. Allow the Holy Spirit to help process the pain and lead you to your new destination. Because like my husband is want to say, “No matter where you go, there you are.” If you leave in hurt and anger, that hurt and anger will just follow you to your next destination.

Hey friends, be encouraged! Don’t judge God by His children. When God was bringing the children of Israel out of enslavement, they behaved badly. But God was patient, merciful, and faithful towards them. While many Christians are having temper tantrums today, God is still patient, merciful, and faithful towards them and you.

“You are merciful, and you treat people better than they deserve. So please forgive these people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.”
‭‭Numbers‬ ‭14:19‬ ‭CEV‬‬