Testing that faith.

What good is faith that is never tested? Does it mean anything if you love me but have never had to show it? What does it mean to be in the world but not of the world? Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

All these and more have been going through my head the past few days. There are a few conversations I've had that comes back to understanding how 1.) God lets bad things happen to us 2.) Whether I should be a participant in conversations within the world about the evils of the world.

1.) Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses in the bible. It doesn't say that bad things are God's fault or that bad things are all part of God's plan, it simply says that bad things CAN be good things through God's spirit. Well, to be accurate, all things. This Christmas I have already counseled two people who were grieving losses too deep for words. The holidays will not be joyous for them. And rather than berating them and telling them how cheerful they SHOULD be, I can only lean on one promise...that God can make all things work together for good.

2.) previous discussion with another person had me wondering... when is a book, movie, person so evil or corrupt that it poses a threat to my faith? Where is the line in the tension between avoidance (for holiness reasons) and participation (for holiness reasons)?

The whole holidays angst is put well at this blog.