When I was a young boy, my fourth-grade teacher created a competitive game and made learning math fun. Whoever won the competition won a huge poster. Hanging in my bedroom were huge posters of Roberto Clemente, Lynn Swann, and Terry Bradshaw. By the time I got to seventh grade, I loved math. I loved math so much that I wanted to be a math teacher. Why? I think it was because I had math teachers who cared about me as a person. When you have a teacher who actively cares about you as a person, then you care about what they want to teach you.
I’m not sure this people-valuing process is unique to math. But, if you do the math, I believe that loving and caring for people will cultivate a desire to know and love what is known and loved by the teacher. What do you love? Science? English? History? Sports? Music? Art? Health? Work? Money? Jesus? Jesus taught us that full-grown students will become like their teacher. One of Jesus’ followers put it this way: “I’m writing to all who are called to live in the love of God, the Father, and the care of Jesus Christ. May you receive more and more of God’s mercy, peace, and love” (Jude 1,2). If you do this sort of math, what will you become? Like Jesus.
If you do the story-problem math of your life, what are you adding to your life each day? Whatever you feed on and include in your life each day is what you will grow. You will eventually become full of whatever you are digesting. You are what you eat. You become what you love and what you invest most of your time in. If you eat healthy, you will have good gut health. If you eat poorly, you will have bad gut health. If you feed your mind on God’s truth and walk in His love and truth caring for others, you will have a healthy life. If you feed your mind the messages of our culture and stay away from people, you won’t have a healthy life. You will become disconnected zombies—the walking dead.
If you aren’t sure what you’re becoming, just listen to your stories. Your storylines define what you’ve been feeding your mind and what you’re full of. If you’re still not sure what you’ve been consuming, ask the people around you. They know exactly what you’re all about and what’s consuming you. What you consume and love is what you’re passing on to those around you. When you add faith in Jesus, everyone gets better.
The good news is when you decide to add faith and live by faith in Jesus Christ, your fear will die. Faith and fear cannot co-exist. You’re either feeding your faith, or you’re feeding fear. What you love most and what you’re most attached to is what you will be feeding and reinforcing. If you take a close look at your life and the lives of those around you, it’s easy to see and hear what you’ve been eating.
If you wonder what happened to my weekend blog writing, I was busy this weekend adding Faith. She’s great! My son Tim just proposed and decided to add Faith to his life forever, and she said, “Yes!” She’s wonderful, and we love her. She’s so much like Tim, and she loves Jesus. They’re just right for each other, and we thank God for His wonderful new addition to make our family so much better.
Faith comes by hearing God’s Word.
Faith grows as we trust the Lord and do what He says.
Faith grows as we share it with others.
Faith is best expressed through love.