Know what you believe

Recent commenters have made me consider beliefs. How well you can explain and defend your beliefs is a good indicator of how strong you believe in something (either for or against). This is true of everything from little daily things like why you like a certain shampoo, to your political opinions, and finally your religious beliefs.

While it is understandable that someone who is shy is less likely to be an activist compared to a social butterfly, they both should still know in their heart why they believe. Sometimes, if I find something of interest that differs from what I believe, I will give a comment saying what the difference is and why. Or if I agree, I’ll give encouragement. This is what makes interesting discussions.

It’s also why it is important to know what you believe. Otherwise you’ll just be blown in the wind with every new opinion. I’m not saying we should be set in stone on everything. I changed my mind as to who I was going to vote for in our recent local election after learning new information about my first candidate choice. Still, I was able to explain my choice both before and after as well as why I changed my mind.

The more important an issue, the more important it is that you know what you believe and why. It’s amazing how many adults (especially self-described Christian adults) can describe in detail why a ball play was bad or that they should exercise, eat properly, their schooling choices, political ideals, and social concerns yet have no firm grasp of their religious beliefs.

For me, the most important thing is eternity. I believe everyone will ultimately spend eternity in heaven or hell. So earthly issues like climate change, the economy, and even human rights, while important, are only temporary and therefore secondary. Hopefully, this is true for all true Christians.

Jesus wants us to know what we believe. You need to take a stand and be ready to defend it. In Revelation 3 15-17, Jesus talks about the church in Laodicea being lukewarm (passive in their belief); neither hot (enthusiastic for Jesus) or cold (unbelievers). He wishes they were one or the other, but since they aren’t he will spew them out.

That’s a very harsh statement. He wants us to take a stand. He doesn’t want us on the fence. He doesn’t want a Church that doesn’t know and can defend it’s beliefs. This is worse that unbelief (being cold).

Further, we shouldn’t be ashamed of our belief. Jesus said in Mark 8:38

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

So be ready to calmly explain your beliefs. 1 Peter 3:14-16

But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

This is what’s bothersome about Bible Thumping. They have an answer, and are usually hot (enthusiastic for Jesus), but it’s not given in meekness. It doesn’t change anyone’s mind. It just makes them mad and more set in their ideas and less open to the truth.

So do you know what you believe? Are you hot, cold, or just lukewarm? Can you give an answer in meekness, without being ashamed?

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2 Responses

  1. You make very good points. I agree fully with your points about “bible thumpers” they are a turn off for most. As a Franciscan I like what St. Francis had to say on preaching the gospel, “Preach the Gospel wherever you go, use words if necessary”. 🙂

  2. Martine,
    Thanks. I like that too.

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