Khader I. Alkhouri, MA, Cand. Ph.D. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The degree of faith is a specialization in the psychology of religion and applied cognitive psychology. Where a degree of faith is influenced by the psychological effects of motives, desires, attitudes, values, behavior, religious practice, and external influences surrounding the environment and society, consciously or unconsciously.
We know that one person has a different level of faith than another. Faith lacks stability. So, certain situations can affect the likelihood of an increase in a person’s faith or vice versa. So no matter how much research there is to measure its degrees of faith, it will never be precise! For example, the degrees of faith of some people who go out to enjoy on Friday and do not attend church, differ from the degrees of faith of people who attend the divine service and accept the Holy Communion.
The only way to measure the degrees of Faith is to do a quantitative survey on a group and they have to answer the same questions every night for a month or more, then the results can show up precisely. We must emphasize that the measure of the degrees of faith should not lack reactivity, diversity, and quality of faith. We infer the degrees of faith from the extent of its fullness and purity, from acts, and the extent of doubt, for doubt weakens faith. Weakness in faith breeds doubt. We also deduce the degrees of faith or trust in God to intervene in your life and orient you, see scripture (Matthew 14:28-32).
Degrees of faith and religious principles are a double-edged sword. Raising the level of faith is a crucial time for reflection, correction, and enrichment of our spirituality. Whether it is conscious or not. The higher the level of faith, the greater our closeness and spiritual unity with God.
Faith cannot be faith in the absence of faith. Spirituality descends gradually from the highest faith to the lowest degrees of faith, so the rise and development of a particular belief go through a long-term process, from disbelief to belief. St. Augustine declared: Nothing can be truly good unless it is rooted in faith. Also, St. John Chrysostom said: “Faith needs the help and indwelling of the Spirit, to stand firm. The help of the Spirit is latent and guaranteed in a pure life, in conduct without blemishes.”
In (Hebrews 11:1) said: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (The Holy Bible, 1989)
In (Matthew 6:24) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (The Holy Bible, 1989) Here we understand that on the scale of the degrees of faith, there is no medium range of faith, there is faith or there is no faith at all.
In (Matthew 8:10): The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. (The Holy Bible, 1989). Here we realize that faith varies in terms of quantity.
In (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) St. Paul. Said: “I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able, for ye are yet carnal. For if there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (The Holy Bible, 1989) Here we can see that St. Paul’s demands of them are not the perfection of holiness, or the possession of power and other advanced levels, but only to maintain the level of faith they have now, and the comprehension of salvation.
Faith is a virtue like any other virtue. In the Bible, we see that Christ healed a People from a short distance and a far distance and the level of their faith, for example, in (Matthew 9: 20-22; Mark 5: 25-34; Luke 8: 43-48) we can see the hi-level of faith of the woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years, by touched the fringe of clothes of Christ and she has been cured of the disease. And we have seen how often Jesus Christ has said that your faith has healed you (Matthew 9:22; Mark 10:52; Luke 8:48; Luke 18:42). And in (Matthew 17:20) Jesus Christ said: “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (The Holy Bible, 1989)
The Bible (Romans 12:3) said: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Here we understand that God has given each of us spiritual gifts, and from this point of view, we must preserve this blessing that He has given us and we should not exaggerate or underestimate it, but rather accept it as a spiritual power to directing our lives towards salvation and grace, spreading love and teaching the word of God.