Abraham, the person who started a good chunk of the world's religions, was commended by God for his faith. He certainly did not live a holy life: he lied, cheated, and stole. He was a also a coward and he treated his family poorly -- All the marks of good character are simply missing. So what is faith, and why is it so important? Isn't the goal ultimately to become a better person? Why does faith matter so much to God?
Let's say that we were trying to do the right thing. As far as we knew we did everything right. Unfortunately, we didn't have all the facts, so we did some things drastically wrong. I imagine that when God calls us to account for all we did, it will be a surprise how many things we royally messed up because we acted according to our own wisdom and not by faith.
God knows all and sees all and can tell you exactly the right thing to do. What if it contradicts what you know? Do you do the wrong thing because you think it is right? Or do you do the right thing, even though you think it is wrong? God is pleased when you trust Him and do the right thing, regardless of how it feels. If you deny God and then do the wrong thing, of course God is not pleased -- you just furthered the cause of human suffering.
God told Abraham to go and leave his family and everything he knew. It was the wrong thing by his viewpoint. Indeed, he does so many things wrong that its amazing he survived at all given the harshness of the time. But God was with Abraham, and Abraham followed God even though it looked wrong. It changed history for the better.
If God is calling you to something, run it by some people who have followed Jesus longer. Put it through a comparison with what God has already revealed in the Bible to be True. Pray. Then, through faith, do the right thing that God has called you to. It will please God.
This is part of a series: Reflections.