Today’s question comes from Yvette. She writes: “Craig — I see myself as being spiritual as far as believing that there is some greater ‘something’, I have hope and faith that this thing ultimately is good— there are times I believe I could have lost my hope — and many times, for a moment I have– I believe Jesus Christ to be a person (like myself!) to have believed wholeheartedly In Something 100% that miracles – unnaturals – have occurred— however I just cannot label myself Christian, or believe that the stories in the Bible are nothing but stories. So what am I? And does it matter?”
Thanks for your open, honest question. Let’s see if I can begin by offering my two cents, and then invite others into the conversation as well.
Let me begin with your very last question: “does it matter?” I believe there is TREMENDOUS value in having some sense of clarity about aspects of your spiritual journey. It matters a great deal!
Having a sense of clarity about your beliefs gives you a foundation that you can turn to when needed in life. At a moment of crisis, for instance, knowing what truth you can affirm can give you tremendous comfort and hope.
Having a sense of clarity also makes it easier for you to seek out and nurture connections with others who share similar beliefs. I have found life to be so much richer when I can connect with like-minded folks with whom I can share my joys and sorrows.
Those are just a couple reasons why I believe it matters!
In reading your question, I can see you do have a sense of clarity about some important things. You have, for instance, a belief in something larger than yourself. You have a belief that things can occur which are beyond our scope of understanding. You also have a clear sense of what you belief in regards to Jesus and the Bible.
The challenge, then, is to engaging in some exploration to see with what tradition(s) your beliefs are most in line. There are a few tools out there on the web that could help begin that process of discernment for you. One such tool is a brief assessment found on the website belief.net: http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx. There are certainly others that you can find that would work as well in terms of finding a jumping off point.
I wish you the best in living into that sense of clarity as you build your community of support and find your foundation.
So what about you? What words would you add to this conversation?