This seems to be an easy question; that is till we buckle down to real honesty and square with the eyes that reflects back at us from the mirror. What does my faith mean to me?

The easy answer is of course that I am the chosen of God, bought by the blood of Christ and gifted by the Holy Spirit. This is true and an answer to be satisfied with, especially if you are from the Reformed variety of the Christian faith. Everything is indeed grace; God’s gift in Christ.

Another approach is to confuse the why with what and try to answer the question with rational and reason. The answer does not sound much different from the one above. The biggest difference being that the formulation might be slightly more formal; slightly expanded into three volumes (if you are shrewd or learned enough).

Philosophy of religion, psychology, theology of religion, sociology and maybe even biology and genetics might offer answers to this question from different angles. These can range from things like a genetic pre-programming to think in terms of the metaphysical (the God-gene), the context in which we were born and raised to a Freudian interpretation of religion as a whole. You might agree or disagree with a number of these approaches but it might be that you still believe, even after the theories, and that the question asks on yet a deeper level.

In my mind the reason I believe is a mixture of all of these factors with a good deal of grace, however when I look myself in the eye, the question change from the factors forming believe in me to the purpose of my faith, and this is where honesty starts to hurt. This is where Jesus confronts me with my own agenda. Is my faith used to merely further my own cause, justify my own way of thinking, my domination of the other, my thirst for power and status or is the purpose of my faith to serve others, to allow justice to happen through me, to be a voice for those without a voice and to further the cause of the One whom worked the faith in me.

Why do I believe? I believe because a vision that was granted me in grace. This vision is at the same time is the reason and the purpose of my faith. It calls me to action, asks of me to evaluate my behaviour, to live not for myself but for the other, to keep the focus on the One who is the vision. It opens me to community, to share and receive vision(s). What is this vision? What is the cause of the One who grants this vision?

In my understanding? To love God and your neighbour like yourself.