Belief Cures Cynicism
And Prevents Fatalism
Belief is simple. It isn’t restricted by age or intellect or culture.
It comes naturally to all of us but doesn’t always stick around. It shifts. It shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Paul preached it. Peter preached it. Both were following the example of Jesus, who preached it before them. Obviously, it’s important.
It’s a timeless universal response common to all Christians. We shouldn’t allow it to get lost in the jargon or smothered by bad attitudes. Following are a few facts to consider.
Belief Is What You Can’t Prove
The things we believe are the things we cannot prove. That is why belief and faith are synonymous. The words can be used interchangeably.
In fact, because you can’t prove what you believe, any action prompted by belief is an act of faith.
Most people actually refer to what they believe as their faith. I used Belief here only to change things up a bit.
Belief Is Universal
Everyone believes something. The only way to avoid belief is to know everything about the past and the future. In other words, you must be omniscient.
Jesus doesn’t believe anything because He knows everything.
If you aren’t omniscient, you’re a believer in something.
- Every religious person has faith.
- Every scientist has faith.
- Every politician has faith.
We all believe something and act on it everyday.
People get up in the morning believing the day will be productive. They’re hopeful, which is a by-product of belief.
People target, visualize, and work toward personal goals knowing there are no guarantees. But realism teaches us that belief is the only way to make progress.
The Wright Brothers believed people could fly and acted on that belief. We all know the outcome of their efforts.
Belief Can Be Dangerous
Belief should neither be blind nor stupid.
The Wright Brothers didn’t take unnecessary risks. They worked with the principles of aerodynamics. They respected the law of gravity.
The Wright Brothers tried a few dangerous theories that didn’t work out but they were cerebral about it. Jumping off a cliff wasn’t part of their methodology.
Belief Doesn’t Save
Unfortunately, belief alone doesn’t save anyone. Belief must have an object, a destination and a direction.
Belief without an object is more like magic.
Belief Is Specific
Christians believe in a Person. Not in people generally. Not in extraordinary or accomplished people but in one particular Person, Jesus Christ.
We believe He is the Saviour – a particular kind of Saviour.
- Education saves us from insignificance, inarticulation and the isolation that comes from the inability to communicate.
- Lifeguards save us from drowning. Swimming lessons and physical eduction help too.
- Law enforcement saves us from criminal activity. Moral education helps too.
- Jesus saves us from ourselves. Education doesn’t eradicate the problem of self. Sometimes it heightens it.
Jesus doesn’t save us from problems or difficulties or the faults of others. If He did we wouldn’t learn how to solve problems or develop social skills.
Jesus saves your soul. Life is your responsibility.
Belief Is Individual And Personal
All the Christian basics are personal but none more so than belief. No one, absolutely no one can believe for another person.
A parent might wish their children to believe. They might promote it, teach it, talk about it, attempt to sell it and beg it to happen, but pleasing one’s parents is never a good motive to believe.
I can’t believe for you, you can’t believe for me, parents can’t believe for children and children can’t believe for friends. End of story.
No one can avoid believing something and every person will be accountable only for the beliefs they entertain.
It is a great compliment to human deliberative abilities that God respects each person’s right to choose to believe or not.
Belief Is Invisible
It is very possible to say you believe one thing, trying to please the crowd, when you really believe something different. You’re fooling the crowd, not yourself.
It is also possible to fool yourself, thinking you believe the popular idea, when you really aren’t sure what you believe.
Belief resides invisibly in the heart of each person. I can’t see yours and you can’t see mine.
It is not predominantly a head thing. If it were the Wright Brothers would have been dissuaded from attempting manned flight.
Belief Can’t Be Hidden
You can’t see belief but you can’t hide it either.
It isn’t stationary. It doesn’t lay dormant. It doesn’t sit quietly and idly in the corner. It bleeds through.
When a person believes something, you could say they get it. And whatever a person gets can’t be held back.
We can be wrong about faith but we can’t be vacant. Belief promotes action.
Belief Is Not Determinative
Belief can be very imaginative, even creative, but it doesn’t have the power to change truth or reality.
An errant belief can be articulated convincingly but it doesn’t change anything. Truth doesn’t morph.
Those who believe in the law of gravity stand on the side of truth. Those who don’t need a very good insurance policy. Their belief won’t change anything but their health.
Belief Isn’t About Agreement
This is where religion often gets it wrong. Belief in Jesus doesn’t mean you completely agree with Jesus.
You might want to agree with Jesus. You might be acquiescent but that isn’t agreement.
Until you know everything Jesus knows and understand everything He understands, you can’t agree 100%.
Jesus knows everything. By comparison we know very little.
The only thing I knew on the day I believed is that Jesus was the Saviour and I was lucky enough to know I needed one.
We both agreed on that.
This teaches us something about friendship. It is NOT predicated on agreement.
Belief Isn’t About Perfection
Belief can be perfect even if we aren’t. And Jesus became the perfect Saviour because we aren’t. We needed Him to be a perfect Savior, and He was willing and able. That means He is not a judge, jury, jailor or executioner.
He can’t be both at the same time.
THINK!AboutIt and believe.