If you are new to the faith, how much is your growth in it your job? If you are new to the faith, if you sin, is it your fault for not knowing that your action was a sin?

“If you’re new to the faith, welcome to God’s family! The Bible says you should want to grow in your faith as much as a newborn craves milk (1 Peter 2:2). If you’ve ever heard a hungry baby cry, you know how eager they are to be fed!

Part of growing spiritually is learning what pleases God and what doesn’t. Every sin, even an unintentional one, harms others and ourselves as well as grieving God, so we should take sin seriously. But God is also merciful and forgiving, so there’s no need to live in constant fear of failing or fall into despair if we do. Jesus taught his followers to pray, “Forgive us our sins” and “Do not lead us into temptation” (Matthew 6:12-13). We can trust God to help us to make right choices and show us mercy if we accidentally make a wrong choice. And God puts other Christians in our lives to help us, too. Here’s the bottom line: every day Jesus says to us again, “Follow me!” And every day we choose: Do I ignore him? Follow at a distance, distracted and half-hearted? Or follow wholeheartedly, close by his side?”

-Dr. Jerome Van Kuiken