I have always wanted to visit the main part of Europe, but the closest I have got so far was view the shoreline of France when we lived in Britain and landing in Rome as I returned from a mission trip to Africa.  One of these days I will get there and visit all those places I have read about and seen on TV.

My daughter is over there right now as she spends a semester studying in France and Spain.  I am living vicariously through her pictures as she posts them on Facebook. (Well, mostly her friend’s pictures as she hasn’t put too many up so far.)  She is living my dream; I am visiting Europe through her life.  I have seen beautiful churches, incredible museums, walked the streets of famed cities in my mind’s eye.

The thing is, no matter how much I memorize the details of all those places she takes pictures of, no matter how much I imagine walking with her down the various street of cities she has been in, no matter how much I see through Facetime, I still haven’t been to Europe, she has.  It’s her life and experiences. She is the one in Europe, I’m just paying the bills!

We all get that simple reality…except when it comes to our faith.  Suddenly, “well, my parents/spouse/child is a good Christian” is acceptable to cover us as well.  I have had people who are proud of their preacher relative, use that to include them being a good Christian despite the life they are living.  Guess what folks, no matter how you try to spin it, you are no more a Christian than I am living in Europe at the moment!  We can’t live vicariously through someone else’s life or faith. It doesn’t matter how good or bad my loved one is, God will judge me by MY life and actions.  He will deal with me based on MY acceptance of Him and his grace.

One of these days I am going to make it to Europe.  One of these days I hope your loved one’s faith becomes YOUR faith.

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