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  • Karen Blanchard

Secondhand Faith

SHELBY TOWNSHIP – With all the media we have access to in our lives now, we are able to gain knowledge and have access to so much more than ever before. However, we aren’t having true and real experiences; we are often living through the experiences of others through the world of social media!


I can relate this same idea to my own faith. I grew up in a Christian family and went to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. I even married a pastor and started a church, but for years I was living through a “secondhand faith.” I believe for the majority of my life, my faith came through my parents and then through my “pastor” husband. It wasn’t until I was faced with a crisis of belief that I had an encounter with God, and everything changed for me!


I was a very good rule follower growing up and always wanted to please. I accepted Jesus as my Savior as a young girl and then became very good at doing all the right things and looking like a good Christian girl. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was missing a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I thought I was doing all the right things; but that is where I was misled.


I love this quote from Geri Scazzero, author of the book the “Emotionally Healthy Woman”:

“Our doing for Jesus must flow from our being with Him. Often, we live vicariously through other people’s spirituality while busily on the run. Going to church, attending conferences, and listening to worship music are all good things, but they should not be a substitute for being quiet and listening to God for ourselves.”


I was doing all the right things but was far from God. In Hebrews 5:12-14 (NLT), we read,


You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.


I was a baby Christian for most of my life. Just like our children when they are babies, they don’t know they are babies. It isn’t until they grow up and look back over the phases and stages of their lives that they realize what a baby is. The same goes for our spiritual life. We don’t know what we are missing until we experience it.


Recently I was reading in John about the Samaritan woman at the well. I have read this story and heard it preached more times than I can count. However, God gave me a fresh revelation on this day that I had never seen before. As we know from the story in John 4, the Samaritan woman had an encounter with Jesus at the well and her life was changed. She ran back to tell everyone in her town about her experience.


John writes in John 4:39 (NIV),

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony. “He told me everything I ever did.”


Our testimonies are powerful to the people we share them with. However, their faith should not stop there! They need to have an encounter with Jesus for themselves. When we stop short of encountering Jesus for ourselves, we are living a secondhand faith.


John continues in John 4:40-42 (NIV),

So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two more days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the women, “We no longer believe because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man is really the Savior of the world.


I truly didn’t know what I was missing in my life until I received it. God is so good to continue to pursue us and draw us closer in our relationship with Him. Don’t settle for living a secondhand faith in Christ! He wants to give you so much and grow your relationship with Him. There are so many treasures to be found. Seek God for yourself! Don’t live off someone else’s faith! If you are serious in wanting a deeper relationship with God, pray the following prayer.


Father God,

Your word says that when we seek you, we will find you. I admit that I have relied on the faith of others in my life. God, I just want to know you more. Reveal more of yourself to me and show me how to walk closely with you. I want to recognize when you are speaking to me and have an intimate relationship with you. Give me a heart to follow you and your ways. Help me turn to you and not to others. I know that you will give me all I need as I choose to put you first and seek you. I don’t want to wait until heaven to see you; I want to see you here on earth. I pray these things with anticipation of experiencing you in my life.




Karen Blanchard is married to Scott Blanchard, pastor of Lakepointe Church, and moved from Florida to Michigan in the summer of 2009 to plant Lakepointe Church in Shelby Township. She enjoys mentoring and discipling women and also leads women’s life groups through her church. She is passionate about helping women find their purpose in who God created them to be. She is on staff at Lakepointe Church and loves being part of what God is doing in the Metro Detroit area!




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