Five Steps to Thrive, No Matter What
Many experience painful crises, leaving them with questions and feeling wounded, abandoned by God, and confused about their ineffective faith. The purpose of Healthy Faith: Five Steps to Thrive, No Matter What is to equip you, through a step-by-step, Bible-based, realistic, and result-oriented plan to develop the kind of faith that will see you through any crisis and enrich your daily life. If you work the plan, you will gain helpful answers and new faith practices, leading you to a better understanding of yourself and a satisfying relationship with God and others.
The weekly blog posts and resources on this site are designed to support your ongoing growth toward a healthy faith. Here’s a brief overview of the five steps that are covered in the book:
Step 1: Resolve the Confusion
Many are dissatisfied with their ineffective faith that is often the result of their confusion and misunderstanding about some key faith-related issues. The chapters of the book introducing this step provide answers to important questions that help clarify the confusion. What are faith’s four essential parts? How well do you know your self? How do you take a faith diagnosis? How do you produce permanent change to your faith?
Step 2: Refocus Your Mind
This introduction to Step 2 explains the importance of understanding how you think and what you believe influences the quality of your faith. It clarifies the difference between your mind (moral side) and your brain (rational side) and how vital they are in shaping your faith. Like your body, your mind and faith need to be fed properly, tested thoroughly, prepared for tough challenges, and protected from harm. These necessities shape the chapters in this step.
Step 3: Reclaim Your Heart
This step begins with the story of Brandi, a moral and model young girl brought up in a Christian home, who allowed her heart to take over; and in one night, the direction of her life was changed. You will learn in this section how the power of your heart can be your best friend or your worst enemy. This step will give you five requirements that will teach you how to use the power of your heart to fortify instead of fracture your faith.
Step 4: Restructure Your Behavior
In the Bible, James makes it clear that “faith without works is dead.” In other words, faith without works will not work. In previous Steps, you’ve learned about the relationship between a healthy faith and your mind and your heart. But faith relates to the totality of who you are and that includes what you do. I use the illustration of my experience in the Journeyman program, a program where college graduates volunteer for a two-year assignment on the mission field. My responsibility was to prepare them for answering the tough questions asked by people of other religions in a foreign land. I always asked them this question: How do you know that Jesus was real? The responses were typical. “The Bible says so.” “Because he lives in my heart.” Then there was the wise young woman who said, “Oh, I don’t expect you to believe me when I tell you he’s real, but I just invite you to walk alongside me for a while and see how Jesus healed my brokenness and how he’s healing others’ brokenness along the way.” She got it. Healthy faith cannot be taught, it must be caught, and you must experience it with your total being, including your body and behavior.
Step 5: Recover Your Core
Since ancient times, the apple has been a symbol of evil because of what happened in the Garden of Eden. In the novel, I, Claudius, Claudius was the disabled heir to throne of the Roman Empire. Claudius said of his life in Rome, “I’m living in the core of the apple.” Where are you living? Let’s look at the apple and think about Steps One through Four. We have peeled away some of the confusion of what a healthy faith is, and we have bitten into the flesh as we looked at the mind and the heart and the behavior. And now we are down to the core. Core comes from a Latin root word meaning central or most important. In Step Five, I explain how the core is the central controlling part of your life, the central most driving element of your healthy faith. In this Step, you will learn that for the Christian, the core of our faith is a relationship with Jesus. He is the life-giving source that will help you develop, protect, and maintain a healthy faith.