Belief is personal principles applied to life in the context of relationships. I know it sounds complex; it plays out much easier than I can describe. The building blocks follow a sequence. We hold ideas as principles within our hearts. Often, we do not really understand the truth or illusion of what we believe. We aspire to be more and better than reality shows that we are. Whatever our ideas are, until they are played out in life they are not alive. When we apply them, and it is always in the context of relationships, they take shape and become something.
We are living in a time of economic uncertainty, confusion, and often chaos. Those that we trusted yesterday are now being exposed as frauds and charlatans. We are finding that the very institutions that we looked to for help are far more human than we realized. Even the processes, rules, and norms that we held as crucial to our community’s existence are under a questioning microscope. We want to believe in something, anything, but it often seems like we are chasing a ghost.
In my life, I find that the heart of my beliefs, and the answer to my quest to find something to believe in, are found in the relationships of my life. It is in the relationship I have with God, with family and those in my community, that I discover the meaning of the principles I hold closest to my heart. In this discovery, I also receive life’s affirmation of what I believe. Compassion has meaning. Mercy has context. Even acceptance is tangible, reassuring, and comforting! We never need walk alone, those closest to our hearts walk with us.
It is a discovery that repeats itself, in my life, across cultures and generations. When Peter received a strange invitation, he did not respond alone. His words describe how his belief played out. “So I went with them, I and six friends, to the man who had sent for me.” (Acts 11.12)
You and I will give a new birth our beliefs today.