Ummm! Chocolate! Who doesn’t like it?
Working in a chocolate factory sounds like a dream job for getting lots of chocolate, doesn’t it? It seems Lucy and Ethel thought so too. Did you ever see the episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy & Ethel go to work in a Chocolate Factory?
As usual Lucy makes a mess of things. Just picture her clumsy attempts to coat a piece of candy in chocolate. The results? A misshapen piece of candy, and a coworker smeared in chocolate. Ethel was no better. Unable to resist temptation, she creates a defective product by pinching each candy to see its’ flavor. Both of their poor-quality standards quickly lead to demotions. Where do they go? To wrapping candy on the conveyor belt of course! Who can forget the hilarious scene as the candy speeds past them? Frantically they grab them off the conveyor. With wide eyes and puffed checks they stuff multiple pieces in their mouths. As their supervisor approaches, the extra pieces are hidden in their blouses and hats! 1 With Lucy and Ethel on the job, whatever plans the owner had for making a quality product are gone!
In order to make a quality product, you need to have a vision, plan, quality materials & standards. If you are to maintain quality you also need a commitment to correcting errors and to stand by your promises. Avoiding hiring people like Lucy and Ethel would help too. You may not need to build a quality chocolate factory or any other product, but how about building quality faith?
What is quality faith? How do you get it?
Quality is defined as “the degree of excellence of something, a distinctive attribute or characteristic.”2 Therefore, quality of our faith is a distinctive characteristic of excellence.
Have you ever known someone and thought, They are a person of faith”?
What made you say that about them?
Could you see in them any particularly excellent characteristics?
Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness Self-control
How do we get that same quality faith that you may see in someone else? We can get it by applying some of the same principles used to develop a quality product to develop a quality faith.
What do you want your faith to look like?
Have you ever thought about this? The book of Hebrews chapter 11, lists many instances of faith. Each example describes an instance of a person stepping out in faith. They obeyed or believed God even when they could not see the evidence of things to come. Is that what you want your faith to look like?
Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
What plan can you make to develop the faith you envision?
Here are a few ideas:
Reading & studying the Bible.
Reading is great but to learn, it is important to study.
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Communicating with God.
Not just praying but listening.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
Joining & getting involved in a congregation of believers.
Like- minded people can strengthen and teach each other.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Reading or listening to credible resources about God.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
Following God’s commandments.
John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.
Putting your faith into action.
James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Whatever plan you make, make it achievable. Like Lucy and Ethel got overwhelmed with the candy on the conveyor belt, we can get overwhelmed by taking on more than we can achieve. It is better to do one thing at a time than to get overwhelmed and give up.
QUALITY MATERIALS & STANDARDS
What standards & materials should you use?
How about God’s Word? Wouldn’t you agree that it is the best standard to use to measure anything? In the Bible, God gave us His perfect truth as a standard of measurement and materials all in one package!
John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
COMMITMENT TO CORRECTING ERRORS
What about if I mess up?
Lucy and Ethel messed up! We all do! But instead of admitting it, they kept quiet. The result? Clothes full of messy, melted chocolate and stomach aches! To avoid carrying around a mess in our hearts, it is important to recognize and ask forgiveness for our sins. In other words, when we mess up. None of us are perfect so we all mess up. When it happens, determine why you messed up and try again. Don’t punish yourself but forgive yourself. Ask God’s forgiveness and in His great love for us, He will forgive you too;
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
STICK TO YOUR PROMISES
Let your yes be yes. Be dependable.
But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
ONE LAST THING!
There is one more important quality faith must include – LOVE!
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Trying to develop a quality faith won’t happen by following our own wisdom or rituals. It doesn’t happen over- night. Faith is a life long journey. Like developing a quality product, it takes time and dedication
As we follow our plan for quality faith, we will grow closer to God and see the quality of our faith and our character grow
Is your faith the quality you desire?
Heavenly Father, with your lovingkindness you draw me to a greater desire to grow closer to you. As I say Galatians 5:22-23 aloud, I pray for you to guide me in a plan to develop a loving, quality faith.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
MAKE A PLAN TO DEVELOP QUALITY FAITH
1 I Love Lucy, Job Switching episode
2 oxford dictionary
Chocolate photo, unsplash, sara cervera
Man jumping photo, unsplash, alex radelich
Child with Bible photo, pixabay
Helping people photo, pixabay, billy cendeo
Loving children photo, unsplash, saddhint
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