DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Maintaining our faith

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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When spring rolled around this year I thought I would change the oil in my lawn mower. Each week, I thought I would do it next week. Spring melted into summer, and here we are at fall.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

I finally made time to change the oil; it was way past due. I read that an engine can overheat if you don’t keep the oil changed. I know better and usually do better.

Engines need maintenance, as do so many other things. Bushes need trimming. Grass needs to be cut. Houses need maintenance, too. There is some painting that needs to be done around my house. I normally like to paint, and can’t figure out why I can’t seem to motivate myself to get started.

Maybe part of the reason is that I am not a fan of all the prep work that goes into a paint job.

Even relationships need to be maintained. How can a friendship thrive if the two people don’t spend time together? There is a need to share and talk in order to keep the relationship alive. Two people become best friends because they spend quality and a certain quantity of time together.
Relationships don’t just happen; they require an investment from each person. You build a strong relationship, which means you have developed strong connections.

Some people believe that they can have a strong relationship with God simply by attending church a couple of times a month. If you rarely make time to feed your spirit it won’t remain alive and vibrant. I read that marriages last an average of eight years now in America. If two people will not invest in staying together, they will ultimately drift apart. This same principle applies to our spiritual lives.

We need to be in church or attending virtually so we can hear God’s word from our pastors. Hearing what God is telling your pastor is so important to knowing what the Spirit is doing in your church and community. The pandemic has driven us from church and each other, which are two critical things we all need for spiritual growth. There are ways we can safely engage again with our church and church family and we need to do that if we want to remain spiritually strong.

Whether you attend church virtually or in person, you need to connect with your church family on a regular basis if you want to build a strong relationship with God. It is also critical to have a daily intake of God’s word. The Bible is God’s love story with mankind. It tells us of His character, His great love for us, and the many ways He interacts with us. It also tells us many stories of how people have interacted with God. It gives us example after example of how faith and trust in God can change circumstances.

Reading the stories in the Bible will give us a strong foundation for our faith.

Next, we have to learn how to apply the principles in the scriptures to our own lives. God wants us to grow our faith so that means He will allow challenges to come our way. These challenges will cause us look for God’s promises in the Bible that apply to our situation. Then we have to hold onto those promises and trust in God to see us through our circumstances. That’s building faith.

No matter how strong we are spiritually we are going to get knocked down. Sometimes we will be able to pull ourselves up, but sometimes we are going to need the help of some good friends. If we want to grow strong spiritually we are going to have to connect on a deeper level with friends who will pray for us, stand with us, and lift us up when we have fallen. We also need to be there for others when they are going through difficult times. Good friends are critical for spiritual growth. We need to mutually encourage and support each other.

I want to encourage you to maintain your spiritual life. Digging into God’s word is the first step to spiritual growth and maintenance. Being connected and committed to our brothers and sisters, whether in person or virtually provides the support system that is critical to keeping our spirits refreshed. God never intended for us to walk alone spiritually. Life will have its ups and downs, but our church family will be there to help us through the dark days. Walking with God requires us to put our hand in His, doing our part to maintain our faith, and trusting Him with the rest.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or