Thoughtful Faith

thought·ful

adjective \ˈthȯt-fəl\

1      a : absorbed in thought : meditative
b : characterized by careful reasoned thinking <a thoughtful essay>
2     a : having thoughts : heedful <became thoughtful about religion>
b : given to or chosen or made with heedful anticipation of the needs and wants of others <a kind and thoughtful friend>

I’ve been ruminating recently about our church’s tagline, “Thoughtful Faith.”  A tagline needs to be short, sweet, and to the point.  For a church, I think it needs to be true to who we are, but also be mindful of where God is pushing us to be.  Will a tagline ever capture perfectly everything about our mission and vision?  No.  But it should be a good start.  We can’t ask or expect too much of it, but it should be something that is unique and hopefully memorable

When I hear River Road’s tagline “Thoughtful Faith,” the first thing that jumps to my mind is a faith that is reasoned or well thought out.  That certainly describes the approach many of us in this church take to our faith.  We don’t have to check our minds at the door when we enter to hear a sermon, participate in Bible study, or sing hymns.  And this is very refreshing!  We pride ourselves in being a thoughtful, moderate voice in a landscape too often dominated by extremes.  A danger to this kind of thoughtfulness, however, is that we can become absorbed in thought, staying up in our heads about our faith and ignoring the heart part of the equation.

But there is another definition of thoughtful that applies to the faith of  River Road Church members as well.  It means taking thought for the good of others.  A thoughtful faith is one that is considerate and kind, one that is moved to take care of others who are in need, be they people in our own backyard or halfway around the world.  We are thoughtful in our faith when we take care of people when they experience a loss, when we celebrate a birthday or an anniversary with a friendly word or a card, when we take part in a missions trip, when we give to the fellowship fund, or in myriad other ways.  We are moved to act, not because we simply want to be helpful, but because of our faith in Christ and who Christ has called us to be.

So be thoughtful about your faith in every way, and let it lead you to loving God, neighbor, and self with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind.

by Sheryl Johnson

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