Human beings have always been looking for what to believe in. It is a default errand for every person on earth. You need not to necessarily agree to this and that will still amount to what I just said. Your belief in not believing in things you either don’t know you believe in or your attention has not yet been drawn to – does not mean you don’t have beliefs. As a human being, you have had to, at some point, believe in what you eat, what you drink, the things you say, what you associate with today etc. Moreover, you not believing in something is actually a form of expression of believe called disbelief.
We do this all the time, understand our words and then make our case from there – and this is to give us a clear sense of direction. To believe (Verb) in simple terms is to accept that (something) is true, especially without proof. This simply means that you will not have to tangibly access what you believe in to form a belief. What is a Belief(Noun)? An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. The main difference between these two words apart from the way they are been spelt is also that, the former is a verb and the latter is a noun. This means you form beliefs after out of beliefs.
It is important at this point to clarify the difference between to believe and to know. Mostly you tend to know things by virtue of the fact that you have proofs for them. Whenever you tend to claim knowing something you have no proof for, you are likely to be called a liar. Stephen tells Doris he knows David’s house. Doris in trying to be sure, asks Stephen for major landmarks to David’s house, and all Stephen had, as information to help Doris was the GPS address to the place. Doris then decides to reach David for the landmarks she needs and David graciously gives her enough information to satisfy her quest including colours of his house, his gate, etc. David in this scenario knows what he is saying because he has proofs, and yes, Stephen necessarily may not be telling a lie, but he is placing a belief in the GPS service to take him to David’s house. Now, should the GPS take Stephen to David’s house just for the first time – he will now know David’s house. Why? He now has a proof to David’s house. I hope this helps. I recommend you read this paragraph again to be clear on this illustration.
Why then is the believe system important in our lives as human beings? My answer is simple; it is because you are always living your life around beliefs. Living in the knownis something that would have been a superb place for human existence if we all were fully in the knowing of everything that will be happening in our lives from time to time. You plan and know what to eat tomorrow morning but, you are not likely to tell whether you will be in better condition to even eat what you planned to eat the day before. The least of the things that can happen to you is to lose appetite for what you planned to it. Therefore, you do not have a full knowing around your own lives as far as the future is concerned.
Let us climb a step further on this. There is also a line between believing and obeying on some tangents. Let me say that you need not to be forced to believe in anything. You can be convinced or persuaded to believe in something but when you are forced to believe – it moves from believing to obedience. What I am saying is that you can be obeying something you do not necessarily believe in based on the condition under which you find yourself. You could find yourself obeying the laws of a particular society, hold it in high esteem and not believe in them. It is getting interesting I guess. So can you now calmly remind yourself on some things you obey but not believe?
Why should we pay attention to the things we believe in? Because they have the ability to destroy or build us.
Our beliefs harmonise with our minds (strongholds) and conditions our hearts to behave towards a certain direction.
Can you just imagine you have believed in falsehood all this time? That is why some people can go mad after they realised that the love they believed in were false. Thank God, if the sort of broken heart you had made you put sugar in your soup instead of salt, others lost their minds. Why? The intensity of their belief in love or whatever it was, was that high and they thought they fully knew what they were involved in. What you believe in has gained predominance in your heart and mind, otherwise you have not believed yet. You always move by your thoughts (instincts, cognition, perception – refer to my article on perception – http://davidbethel.me/2019/05/perception/) and that is the residence of your believes and also your knowing. And so you see, this is critical because it begins from a place of believing. How long you believe in something is dependent on how much you know about it.
This brings me to my last point, which I will compliment with my personal illustration in concluding this piece. Dear you, believing in something should always be a starting point and not a permanent place until you have known as much as possible about what or in what you believe in – you are just hanging on bombs, waiting for the day of explosion; or, you could be at two steps away from walking on pure gold. So why the wait? Why sit and just believe? Get to know what it is. Dig deeper. Clear you doubts by moving beyond your questions to a place of gaining answers. For every that is subject to change, you need to condition yourself to be always abreast with the latest and for others that are permanent, you shoot yourself in the foot by just remaining at the place believe zoom into that arena of knowing which produces confidence – Faith if you want to call it.
Someone will say faith is not seen and so how different is that from believing? My answer is simple;
Faith does not hang on emptiness. Faith is dependent on an end, grown over a period of fuelling your beliefs with, that has overtime been proven on several occasions. Therefore, Faith is an aggregation of hope, beliefs and trust to an unfailing source.
The place of trust can be broken, hope could be deferred dependent on happenings but Faith does not fail. Faith can take no as answer. Faith can accept the worse in place of humanly pleasing results. That is why Faith is directed towards in God and God figures.
I am a Christian. I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Saviour by first believing in the Salvation message that was witnessed to me. Why did I have to believe? Because I would not know until I was told or read about it. Now I believe I will not perish according to John 3:16. But even before he got to the 16th verse of the chapter, He made this remarkable statement to Nicodemus a teacher of the Law (Israelites) when he asked Jesus on why He mentioned one ought to be born of the Spirit and Water, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:5-8). Jesus answered him and said;
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we KNOW, and we testify to what we have SEEN, but still you people do not accept our testimony (John 3:11)
Kindly pay attention to Jesus’ remark on the word know in the scripture above. For a better understanding, take your time read the first three chapters of the book of John; this will be leading you to a place of knowing and not just believing. For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom 10:17). Now look at this scripture below:
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13).
The scripture above sets a good understanding. The Apostle John was writing to people who have believed and he admonishes them to come to the place of knowing. Therefore, before becoming a Christian, I had to believe and now I do not just believe I am a Christian, I know I am a Christian. Why? I have enough evidence in both Scripture and practical life that serve as proof to what I profess and that makes me belong to the CHRISTIAN FAITH!
DAVID BETHEL (INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER/WRITER)
Hence, I ask you; why do you believe in what you believe in? Please answer this question through all facets of your life; your relationships, career, attitude, inter human relations and most importantly, your FAITH etc.
Remember no one can believe on your behalf just as no one else can have faith on your behalf.