Often when we talk about faith, we talk about it as though it is something vague and nebulous that exists in our heads...ethereal, thought. We use statements like, “I believe in reincarnation;” “I believe that chocolate ice cream is healthy.” Some things can be proven. Some things cannot.
Now, the nature of the universe is such that BELIEVING in a thing doesn’t make it true. Believing that chocolate ice cream is healthy doesn’t make it healthy. And here we have a breakdown. Many “liberated” minds cannot accept the fact that their beliefs may not be “TRUE.” If you begin talking about objective truth, they will call you narrow minded, and a bigot.
In the post-postmodern breakdown of objective truth (which is another subject entirely), we make statements like, “Whatever you believe, is what is true for you.” In other words, if you believe in reincarnation, then you will be reincarnated. But this only goes to prove my point. We talk about belief as though it exists only as subjective truth…and it doesn’t matter if it exists in reality.
Now let me pause here and say that belief and faith are not the same thing. Belief is a product of the mind, and faith is a product of the spirit. But for the purposes of this article... I use the terms interchangeably. They both exist only in action. Belief is ACTION. Faith is ACTION...and they both reflect one’s concepts about truth.
FAITH and TRUTH work like a mirror reflection. Faith is the reflection of the truth. But you cannot see the reflection without a mirror. The mirror is the action. Unless you allow people to see the reflection, it might as well not exist.
Faith without works is dead. Faith must give birth to action, or it ceases to exist. Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for. Faith ONLY exists in real and quantitative actions.
Faith is a public commitment. Fill in the blank for yourself: “I believe in _____.” Let’s say, for the sake of argument that your belief is in Santa Claus…“I believe that Santa Claus is real.” Well, what are you doing about it? Do you put out cookies and milk on Christmas eve? Do you tell your kids to write letters to him? Do you help Santa every year by giving out gifts to children and to the needy? Because if you don’t do those things, you either don’t actually believe in Santa Claus or you are living a lie. Your belief is then POINTLESS.FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD.
Faith REQUIRES matching your expectations with who you are. Your inner and outer worlds MUST match...or you are not a person of faith. When you don’t live in line with your beliefs about truth -- your higher values -- you create a conflict in your body and mind that ages you, stresses you, and ultimately makes you false.
Do you believe that honesty and integrity are important? Do you also lie to your spouse or to your boss? If your belief and your actions do not match, you are living a lie.
Ghandi said, “If you believe something and don’t live it, that is dishonest.”
Do you believe that prayer works? When was the last time you prayed? Do you ACTUALLY believe in a real God who throws people into hell? Let me ask you -- When was the last time that you tried to keep someone out of hell? When was the last time you shared your “truth” with someone?
Penn Jillette (Of Penn and Teller) said, “I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”
Live a life of honesty...inside and outside. Examine your life and see where your beliefs and actions are incongruent. You may need to make some changes. And they may be hard, but the value of an honest life will make it worthwhile.
By: Mae Lewis