[/box]For years, religion has been intertwined with our literature, music, and culture. We are, after all, firmly in the Bible Belt. As I have grown older, married, had children, and acquired a remarkable amount of gray hair for someone my age, I have become more comfortable in my personal faith. I look at my life and I see the blessing that I have been given. Notice I say “given” not earned. I’ve worked hard all my life, but I know that I can’t take credit for all that I have.
What Does Person of Faith Actually Mean?
The South has its own definition of what it means to be a Person Of Faith, but when I see and hear rhetoric that I believe goes against the actual principals of Christianity I understand why people lash out and make accusations of hypocrisy. How many times have we heard, “love the sinner but hate the sin” when all we’re really doing is focusing on the hate part? How about changing that to “ I love you, like Christ loves you”? Unconditionally, perceived sin and all. After all, I know I am not without it.
I’m tired of hearing snarky comments that Christians are lining up to get chicken, but the volunteer line at the shelter is empty. I think if we looked, we would see some truth to the comments. Politics and words don’t define people’s religious beliefs, actions do.
Hopefully you’ve stayed with me long enough to see where I am going with all of this. I’m part of the problem. I’ve been complacent with my faith and I have been lacking in my responsibilities of raising my children to be proper citizens of our community and the world.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve helped serve food at homeless shelters, helped with tornado clean up, tithed and given money to charities, but I haven’t truly involved my children. I, like a lot of parents, try to shield my children from the struggles of this world. I tell them when they haven’t finished their plates that children go to bed hungry, but how can I tell them that 15 million children die from starvation every year? (In fact, according to estimates by UNICEF, 28 children have died since you started reading this article.)
By shielding our children we are raising a weakened and less empathetic people. How can we expect them to have empathy if we don’t first show them how? Beyond being a Person of Faith, let’s do what is right and care for each other. That’s a message that goes beyond religion. Christian, Muslim, Jew, Agnostic, or Atheist – no one can argue with “love thy neighbor.”
What I’m Doing Now, With Your Help
I’m going to showcase a different community organization each month here on Rocket City Mom. I’m going to volunteer, with my two young sons, and show them what it means to serve. I’ll report back to you, the readers. My hope is to share ideas for those of you who are wanting to do more as well, those who are ready to involve your children and lay the foundation for the next generation. Some organizations will provide food and education, while others may serve in another way, but all will be supporting our community. Let’s go together, drop all pretenses, and humbly serve others.
I welcome any suggestions in the comments section of where the readers think I should volunteer. Tell me about your favorite charity and what they do there. Tell me where you see a need.
Let’s walk The Walk.
Caleb Walker is a husband, father, CFP, and friend to those who claim him. A rare Huntsville native he has always been used to the two questions that would be asked when he first met someone: "Alabama or Auburn?" and "Where do you go to church?" Religion and the South is like peas and carrots, it just goes together.