I have been confronted recently with the question What do I believe.
To be honest, I have had some difficulty putting into words what I believe. I have never given it much thought before. When in discussions with people, or listening to someone speak I could put what was being talked about into a framework of what I believed, and determine if what was being shared matched or not, but I have never sat down to think about what I actually believe.
I think this is common for most Christians. We don’t know what we actually believe. We say we believe the truth, and at times are able to tell people what we don’t believe, but we have difficulty with knowing, and greater difficulty with sharing what we believe. We cannot put it into a logical thought pattern to understand ourselves, let alone share it with anyone else. This creates a rather large problem, because our main mandate is to go into the world and share with others what we believe. It is kind of impossible when we don’t know.
I was reading a book and the author shared he was trying to share his faith with people, telling them they needed a relationship with God. This was until a lady asked him “what is a relationship with God?”, and he couldn’t answer her. This is what sent me on my quest to discover what I believed. I wasn’t sure I could answer that question either, and I wanted to be sure.
As I thought long and hard about this, I realized I had another issue. Not only do we not know what we really believe, we don’t know why we believe what we do believe. We have accepted teachings and what people we have trusted have shared as truth, but we have never chased it on our own. We spout all kinds of messages because that is what others have shared, and we think it is the way it is done. But when we get cornered by someone, like the lady asking what a relationship with God is, we get stumped and are unable to answer. We really don’t know why we believe what we say we believe.
This leads us to the great tragedy in the churches we go to, where by statistics only about 5% of Christians in North America will ever lead anyone else to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We cannot continue to simply accept as truth what others tell us. Christianity was never meant to be a blind faith. Christianity is meant to be accepted by faith, and because God’s thoughts go so far beyond ours that we cannot ever hope to understand Him, we have to take some things simply because God said it was so. But Christianity was meant to be a thinking mans faith. Jesus said we need to “count the cost” before following Him. We need to evaluate what we are willing to give up to be a disciple of Jesus. We are supposed to think through our faith.
Paul said in Acts 17:11 “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” They didn’t take what Paul said solely because Paul said it. They searched the scriptures in depth to see if what was being shared actually was in the bible. To much of what we have accepted as truth is simply been hearsay and has been blindly accepted. And as a result it cannot stand any of the storms in life.
If we as Christians are to actually stand tall and strong we need to know what it is we believe and why. Otherwise we are just simply spreading around hearsay and conjecture without really evaluating what has been said. And as a result we have built our lives on a foundation that cannot hold us up. We end up building on sand instead of solid rock. Only when we begin to evaluate what we believe, and then find out why we believe it and own it for ourselves can we truly stand as God intends for us to stand and be the light that we are called to be.
I welcome you to join me on the journey of discovering what we believe and why. We cannot become who we were meant to be unless we are willing to.