Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
An old belief is like an old shoe. We so value its comfort that we fail to notice the hole in it. Robert Brault
It is said we all need something to believe in. Our beliefs or even lack of beliefs has tremendous influence on whom and what we are. Having a belief can be like an internal energy source to us. Many are turned on, ignited, compelled and inspired to live life with more vitality because of the beliefs that inspire and motivate them.
The greater our belief in something, the more likely we accept it as being unquestionably true. The more this is the case, the more likely we are to make decisions, act and take risks based on our acceptance of our belief as being factual and beyond reproach. An extreme form of such belief is martyrdom. Throughout history there have been those who sacrificed their lives rather than denounce or relinquish their beliefs.
If we could measure the intensity of our beliefs in the various things we claim to believe in, we might be surprised and disappointed. An aspect of true belief is how far we are willing to go or to sacrifice before rejecting or disavowing our belief. The ultimate test is; are we willing to sacrifice our life or the life of a friend or loved one. How much pain, suffering, humiliation, or embarrassment would we endure? The easier it is for us to give up or give in; is an indication of the shallowness of our belief. If we are prepared to pay the ultimate sacrifice, no one could doubt our commitment. Various forms of torture including the threat of death have been used throughout the centuries to break people of their beliefs. How far could or would any of us go before we broke? How many of our beliefs are merely lip service? Do not actions speak louder than words?
Sometimes we find ourselves at a point in life where we come to the realization that what we believed to be true is in fact untrue. It may take a lot of courage to accept that we have been wrong and make necessary changes to overcome our error in judgment. Some find it easier to avoid dealing with “the handwriting on the wall” and continue acting as if their old beliefs are true. This can be called “living a lie”. Having beliefs and the continuous testing of those beliefs is a vital and crucial aspect of our lives. We should be seeking to find and know Truth.
Challenge: It is likely you have held beliefs that were ultimately proven to be wrong. How did this affect your life going forward? Did you discover new truths that focused you in new directions or did you have difficulty coming to grips with errors in your belief system. Life is a journey. It involves making new discoveries and sometimes learning what you thought to be truth was based on false assumptions, bad information or ignorance.
Wisdom: These then are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.William James
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:1
Early believers and others throughout the years have sacrificed themselves rather than denounce their beliefs in God. Every day we are faced with situations where we are faced with temptation to compromise or back away from standing up for what we say we believe in. In the meantime, those that do not believe are able to advance their causes because of the attention they are able to receive. Do we really believe what we say we believe?
Prayer: Help me remember what you have done and continue to do for me. Help me to have the courage I need.