Ever been ashamed, embarrassed, or reluctant in explaining the “why” behind a decision, choice, or action? It is a paradox that I have found myself in far more than I care to admit. I can vividly remember backing down from a conviction that I should make sure my team did something because it seemed to others as if I was taking them on a lark. I tried to explain my motive, intuition, and belief but the words and passion were not convincing. I look back with sadness at the missed opportunity with little ill feelings about the others involved in the ultimate decision. I believe their motives were positive and sound. I accept their perspective. I also wonder if the end decision reflected my own lack of confidence more than their concern.
I find that those around me often hold beliefs that they are reluctant to share. Often the driver appears that the potential critical reception the beliefs may receive. This caution is, for the most part, well placed. People are often critical of views that they do not understand and cannot imagine. Having said this it is clear that the solution is not to continue to hide or bury the belief.
When the cripple was confronted by others as he broke the “rules” in acting on the faith that brought healing his response establish a model that we can use today. His explanation to the critics was simple, direct, and implies a three step process.
“He told them, ‘The man who made me well told me to. He said, ‘Take your bedroll and start walking.’’” (John 5.11)
In confronting the critics of his belief the cripple finalized the model. First, the cripple began with a clear understanding of his reality. Second, he believed in the impossible. Third, he acted on his belief.
We are children of God who are in need of recreation. God loves each passionately and creatively. The invitation to participate in God’s work is unreserved.
The process from this moment on is simple. Understand, believe, and act. Our first step validates everything.