Why Faith Should Be Curious

Curious [ˈkyo͝orēəs/] (adjective): eager to know or learn something

If you ask many people that know me well, they will probably agree that I am curious by nature, especially in matters of faith.  For the last 4 years I have been blessed to work at a Christian bookstore with some very intelligent and passionate people. So, due to my constant curiosity that is sparked by conversations, books that catch my eye, and comments made by customers, I will frequently question my co-workers about God, the Bible, and faith in general. And bless their hearts I probably get on their nerves sometimes, but they still put up with me. I can’t help it, though. When it comes to my faith, I have an unquenchable desire to know more.

Clearly, I find curiosity to be a good thing. I believe curiosity is an instinct that is hardwired into the human mind by God Himself. Now I cannot think of any Biblical evidence to support this, although there could be some, but I think that at least one of the reasons God gave us curiosity is so that we would seek Him. Even in an inadvertent way, curiosity drives us to discover new truth, which for the believer, will always point towards our Maker.

But I will also say this: if curiosity is a muscle, it is the least used muscle in the Body of Christ.

I have been in church all of my life. There is not a day that I can remember where my parents did not teach me to seek the Lord. But from what I have observed in my short 23 years of church life, there are many attitudes present in our church pews; curiosity is usually not one of them.

The Christian faith engages our minds. This is something that we have to keep reminding ourselves of so that we don’t allow our minds to fossilize and so we can continue to be sharpened and make progress.

                                                                                                                                             -Alistair Begg

THE DIVER’S PERSPECTIVE

I love scuba diving. I think it may be the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. To enter into the marine world and discover something totally unique is an incredible experience.

But what motivates a person to want to strap a tank of air on their back and swim underwater for an extended period of time? If one thing goes wrong it can be fatal. If your air tank has a leak, you only have a few minutes to reach the surface. However, because of the difference in pressure at the surface compared to 50 feet below the surface, you have to rise up very slowly or else your lungs could be damaged by the dramatic pressure changes.

So why take the risk? I know what motivated me to dive anyway – curiosity. I wanted to experience the sea world. I wanted to see it for myself. Heck, I even wanted to see sharks (which we did, by the way.) For me, swimming on the surface is enjoyable, but it’s not the same knowing what adventures await beneath me. If only I will take the chance and dive.

So it is with our Christian faith. The surface level of it is great – for a time. But we must know that if we dive beneath the surface there is so much more to be explored and discovered. And, once we take this dive, the surface will never be the same.

However, just like scuba diving, exploring your faith can involve some risk, and this can scare people. What if I can’t find the answer I’m looking for? What if I dive too deep and get confused? Or, what if I discover that the Bible teaches something contrary to what I personally believe? All this and more can be real results of exploring your faith. But I can tell you it is well worth the risk.

DON’T SETTLE FOR SIMPLE

As I said earlier, I have the privilege of being able to work at a Christian bookstore, the perfect job for someone like me to find new places for my curiosity to explore.

Much of my job consists of selling people Bibles. When a customer enters the store and tells me they need a Bible, one of the first things I usually ask them is which translation they prefer. The most common response I hear is, “Well, I don’t know. I just want something simple. I like easy and simple.” (Well, actually the most common response is “The King James. The only REAL Bible. Not these books of Satan.” That may be a little dramatic but it’s not too far off. But that’s not important right now.)

What I am trying to say is that, from what I have observed, Christians do not have a desire to challenge themselves spiritually or intellectually. It seems as if most Christians would rather be spoon-fed by a pastor on Sunday than to have to read the Bible for themselves on a regular basis. And yet this seems to be perfectly acceptable within the Church. Even though many believers lack the desire to grow in their faith, that’s almost become acceptable. Many churches seem to even be catering to it now, promoting how they have a simple message. I wonder if this idea of simplicity would be acceptable in other areas of life?

Let’s say that something has happened and you have to have surgery. Your body has to be cut open and another human being is going to poke around inside with sharp and dangerous tools. When you meet the doctor to prep for surgery, I doubt you would want him to say about his medical training, “I enjoyed it. It was very simple. I didn’t want them to get too deep and over my head. But I know the basics. So I’m good.”

And yet, I feel like that kind of an answer when it comes to our faith is completely acceptable for most people. If simple isn’t acceptable when it comes to taking care of our physical needs, then how come it is acceptable when we are dealing with spiritual, eternal needs?

Therefore, if I am to offer you any encouragement from this post, it would be this: don’t settle for simple. No, simple is not necessarily a bad place to be. Everyone has to start there. But we should never be content to stay there.

Challenge yourself to grow deeper in your faith. Discipline yourself through personal prayer and Bible study. Read books and articles that cause you to ask questions about what you believe, and then go find the answer. Know not only what you believe, but why you believe it. Start a conversation with your friends over coffee or dinner, just by simply asking questions. Who knows, this could help them on their own spiritual journey.

The depths of our faith are beyond measure. I challenge you to dive beneath the surface and discover the vastness and wonder of the faith that we as Christians hold dear.

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