Have you ever been excited about someone else’s faith? Surely I’m not the only one who has heard someone else talk about Jesus and thought to myself, “How do I get contagious faith like that?” I’ve been a Christian for a while, and I’m still inspired by the faith of other people.
This past weekend, I attended a conference that deeply challenged my faith. But not in the ways I thought it would. I left longing for the deep and gritty faith that I saw displayed before me.
I want the Spirit of Jesus to pour out of me the way it did the speakers at this conference. It wasn’t fluffy Jesus. It was the true, uncomfortable, challenging, unwavering Jesus that I saw.
Sometimes my faith can feel a bit complacent and passive. That’s the opposite of what I want. I long to have a faith that holds nothing back. A faith that’s unapologetically bold for the Kingdom of Christ. Not because it’s trendy, but because there is no other way to live when every corner of my life is dedicated to Jesus.
I want a contagious faith that is lived in full surrender to Jesus. I will be the first to admit my faith doesn’t reflect all of these qualities. But it’s something I so desperately want.
Here are four qualities of a faith that is highly contagious. The kind of faith that movements are made of.
1. Your faith is risky.
The apostle Paul is probably one of the most well known people in the Bible. Other than writing over half of the New Testament, there is something else noteworthy about him. He was absolutely on fire for Jesus. He was the kind of guy who had contagious faith.
Paul lived a risky life. And it wasn’t because he was an adrenaline junky. The faith of Paul is one many of us awe over. But what if we could have a faith like Paul’s? What if faith like Paul was a standard marker of all Christians?
Paul was willing to give up everything, even his own physical safety, for the sake of reaching people for Jesus. He wasn’t concerned with the way he would looked, who would accept him, or what the cost would be for sharing Jesus. In fact, he went into many cities knowing he was risking death for what he was about to do.
And many Christians today continue to take uncomfortable risks for the sake of their faith. It’s not to be heroic or even to serve as an inspiration to others. They do it because nothing else is more important than doing the will of Jesus.
I want that kind of faith. I want a faith that’s more concerned with being obedient to God’s calling than worrying about what people think of me or the way it will change my life.
People with contagious faith step out in obedience even when it means risking everything.
2. Your faith affects others.
One thing I’ve noticed about people who have bold faith is that their faith always benefits other people. And really this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Our faith isn’t just for us. It’s meant to shine the light of Jesus into the darkness. It’s meant for other people.
When you’re living with contagious faith, it affects people for the better. Jesus promised his disciples that when he left they would be sent a helper, the Holy Spirit. And he didn’t just come to help them survive their time on earth. The Holy Spirit was sent to help them carry out the mission of Jesus.
We are on a mission. But I fear many of us don’t take this mission very seriously. We often reduce our faith to something only we need. We think our faith is about giving us strength to get through the day and endurance through the storms of life, which isn’t necessarily false.
But our faith is about so much more. It’s far less self-centered than that.
Our faith is about the souls of other people. We are called to be ambassadors for Christ, which means our faith should inherently affect other people.
People should see a glimpse of Jesus through the way we interact with them. Contagious faith realizes that we can’t keep the good news of Jesus a secret. We must share it over and over and over again.
3. Your faith is fed by Scripture.
Have you ever had someone tell you a story from Scripture and thought, “Wow, I really want to read that,” but then you open your bible and it doesn’t seem as exciting as when the person told it?
The issue isn’t with the bible. The issue is with your heart.
For people with contagious faith, Scripture is what feeds their faith. It’s not from verses on Instagram or inspirational faith quotes in a devotional. The foundation of a person with contagious faith is the word of God. They’re genuinely excited about reading the bible and allowing it to change their life.
And these people aren’t reading the bible out of a compulsive need to check daily reading off of the list. They’re reading it because they’re desperate for its truth and teaching. To be a person with radical faith, you have to be a person who takes deep dives into the word of God constantly.
Oftentimes, people with contagious faith can’t help but share what God is revealing to them in Scripture.
4. Your faith is grounded in your love for Jesus.
For people with contagious faith, Jesus is not an aspect of their life. He is their life.
Their love for Jesus is not like their love for Oreos, their pet, or their nation. It’s a love that exceeds all other things in their life. Their love for Jesus is so deep, authentic, and desperate. Without Jesus they are nothing.
A person with contagious faith is completely reliant on and in love with Jesus for who he is. Their love for Jesus is not stronger in a difficult season of life or weaker during a time of thriving. And out of their love for Jesus flows their love for others and reckless abandonment to do anything they are called to.
You can develop contagious faith.
It might seem like this kind of contagious faith is impossible or is only reserved for the few. That’s just not true. People with contagious faith still struggle, have doubts, feel regret when the words of their heart weren’t filtered passed their brain.
Having contagious faith is not a superhuman experience or one left to apostles, pastors, and famous Christian leaders. Contagious faith is meant for all of us. As we continue to seek the Spirit and not our flesh our faith will grow and become one others look at and long for.
The one who lives inside of you will shine through as you continue to seek him in every aspect of life.