I’m a curious kind of person, meaning I want to know how things tick. This can be a good quality unless I’m picking apart myself, which I’ve been guilty of on many occasions. For example, I’ve questioned my own faith at times because of comparison to others who seem to have more faith than I do. But here’s what I’ve learned about that:
Paul said in Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself…” [We could pause here and learn a lesson– quit thinking of yourself! This is a trap of the enemy. The more we think of ourselves, the more we get away from what God has called us to be and do. Let’s keep our eyes and thoughts on Him more than anything else– now continuing] “…more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
I looked this phrase up: “God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” First of all, the word dealt means to distribute by separating into parts. So we can almost picture a big bag of faith up in heaven that God dips into to distribute to every believer. But when we see the word measure, and then we look around, you might be tempted to believe God gives bigger measures to some and smaller measures to others — but that’s not so.
The word measure means a portion but the way that it is used in this passage with the word dealt describes equal portions. In other words, God has dealt an equal measure to every believer.
But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize people aren’t operating in the same measure of faith. Just walk into any church and you’ll quickly see baby Christians and mature Christians, and everything in between. So how does this work (my curious mind asked)?
Faith is best compared to a seed or even a muscle. Both have the capacity to GROW. A seed that is planted, watered, and cared for will change beneath the surface (away from the visible eye) and produce something far greater and even different than it first started. A muscle works the same way. If conditioned and used repetitively (especially against an opposing force), it will grow and become stronger over time.
This is why some believers appear to have great faith while others seem to struggle. God is quite fair. He has given to every person a measure of faith. But what each one does with their faith is completely up to him or her.
The Bible describes Jesus as a foundation for our lives. “But let each one take heed how he builds on it” (1 Corinthians 3:10). In other words, God has given us the foundation and even the tools to build with, but whereas one man may build a mansion, another may build a shack.
It’s completely up to us.
So I’ve determined to grow. I believe the capacity to grow faith will never end in this life. This means it’s good for me to reflect over my past year or so and review where my faith is so I can increase it. Many people take on new year’s resolutions to get back in the gym for bodily exercise (and that’s good), but I say, get yourself in the spiritual gym and let’s grow those faith muscles this year!
It’s time to grow. And God has given you everything you need to succeed!