"Be alert on your guard; stand firm in your faith (your conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, keeping the trust and holy fervor born of faith and a part of it). Act like men be courageous; grow in strength!" I Corinthians 16:13 (Amp)
I remember where I was the first time I read this verse out of the Amplified Bible. I was in Jodina's den and we were praying together. We often had our Bibles open and agreed with God's Word as we prayed. I remember stopping and examining what it said, "faith: your conviction respecting man's relationship to God..." We spent quite a bit of time talking it out.
If we're on a journey with God through this life, are our convictions going to change? Yes. Will our faith grow? Yes.
I've been very open sharing how I've struggled with finances. I've had a poverty mentality and a fear of not having enough money. I didn't grow up with that attitude. I think it moved in when people spoke that into my life when Andy went into the ministry. (You know the whole "preachers are poor" thing) But in my 20's and early 30's, was I chasing after God? Absolutely! Was I confused and believing lies about finances? Yes. The amazing thing is that God put some wise (and financially affluent) people in my life who graced me and gently brought me out of that poverty mentality. Looking back on that, I stand amazed. God had a good plan even though it wasn't a quick plan (or maybe I was just a slow learner). And He used some wonderful people....who graced me.
I responded to God's plan because I had people who genuinely loved me, accepting me right where I was, and showing me what it was like to live a generous life. They constantly demonstrated giving big. They showed me it was "just money" and that people were oh so much more important. They never preached at me even though I'm sure I was very frustrating at times. They loved...and they demonstrated. They brought me out.
That verse goes on to say, "Act like men!" Grow up. Grow in your faith. And believe that God is doing the same thing in those around you. It may not be in the same way or at the same pace. But believe He is or He will! That's respecting man's relationship to God.