I really don't have a lot of time to write about this right now, but I wanted to throw the thought out there and see what kind of feedback I might get. I had a brief encounter with someone today who I had not seen in quite some time. She used to attend my church pretty regularly, but it has been at least 18 months now since I had spoken to her. I asked how she was doing, to which she replied, "Not too well, but I'm trying to get my life on track again." I asked where she and her family were going to church, and she replied that they were still not going to church, but as soon as they could "get their lives straightened out" they'd be back to church. Of course, I told her that she was thinking backwards, and that neither she nor her husband would get their lives on track without putting God in his rightful place... (I gave her much more but won't go into it here.) She said to me, "I hear you Pastor, but I just don't have any faith left and I feel like God has let us down."
I said to her, "so you have no desire to please God?" She looked at me as if I had just slapped her, with fire shooting from her eyes and said, "how dare you! I told you that God had let us down, so I don't have any faith left in me." Again I said, "So, you choose not to please God?" I swear, I thought she was going to hit me. She said, "What the hell do you know? You don't know how bad God failed us. Don't you dare judge us!" I replied that I was not trying to be her judge, but her own words judged her, because the Bible clearly states that "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." I explained the Bible says that he has given to each of us "a measure of faith" so the question was not whether she had faith or not, it was how she chose to use it. I reminded her of the many times I'd seen God's blessings in their lives and that just as his words says, "he rewards those who seek seek him." Then I told her that from what I could see, they (as individuals or a family) were not seeking God at all, but instead wanted to live life their own way and still have God's blessings. I told her flat out that her excuse that she did not have any faith is a lie, that she had faith but would rather live in a way that is not pleasing to God. End of story. I'd love to say the encounter ended in on a positive note, but let's just say it did not.
I have to say, I'd never really given thought to that excuse, "I just don't have any faith left" before today. It really is a pretty lame excuse; isn't it?