Don’t Call It Faith

The following article was written by Fred Smith Sr.

There is a marked difference between scriptural faith and foolish assumption. The wise person responds to the promises and principles of the Word. The fool is fueled by human desire. Wisdom takes the whole counsel of scripture; foolishness proof-texts and deceives.

A young ministry worker bought a large bus “on faith.” He didn’t have the money to pay for it and didn’t tell the dealer. When the first payment came due, he called me for the money. He gave me the song and dance about doing it on faith. “No, you bought it because you wanted it. You don’t have the money, so take it back!” Rationalization and religious fervor often entangle the immature.

Seeing what you want, doing what you want, and then asking someone to bail you out in the name of the Lord is folly, not faith.

Similarly, I have seen individuals and organization create budgets with a huge faith element. No business would ever allow such an enormous fudge factor. We must distinguish between leading and yearning. I believe debt for non-appreciating assets is not scriptural. The borrower assumes the role slave to the lender.

Wrapping highly leveraged projects in God-talk doesn’t sanctify them. Recently, I sat with a group through a presentation that clearly was the pet of a minority interest. The manipulation, the sanctimonious language, and the attitudes were just a smoke screen to push through and march over the rest of the committee. Faith doesn’t carry a billy club.

In teaching on David and Goliath, I made the point that he picked up 5 smooth stones so he wouldn’t be undercapitalized, which is the failing of 80% of all entrepreneurial efforts. I said, “He might have missed with the first one, but with his experience and his arm, he wasn’t going to miss with all five.” Now, I am not a heathen. I know God was with David. However, too many times we go into battle way under-armed.

A sweet lady chastised me for my flippancy. “When God is with you, you can never fail.” I appreciated her heart, but felt the need to point out a few like Stephen, and the entire cast of characters in Fox’s Book of Martyrs.

Finally, prayer is often a human manipulation. We pray for accomplishment of goals we have already set. Faith prays with open hands; folly lifts closed fists.

This week carefully think about: 1) How can I strengthen my faith? 2) Where does folly attack me? 3) Who is really in control of my goals and desires?

Words of Wisdom: “Faith doesn’t carry a billy club.”

Wisdom from the Word: “The naive inherit folly,but the shrewd are crowned with knowledge.” (Proverbs 14:8 NET Bible)

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