CONCLUSIONS: PART 4
“These beliefs I have outgrown”
A belief is something that you take to be true. If you believe something, it does not make it true. You do not make anything true just because you believe it. For my belief to be true, it has to line up with the actual state of affairs in the world. Over time, there are things I have taken to be true that have come to misalign with the actual affairs of the world. It can be scary and liberating at the same time.
I never believed in the Easter bunny, but the idea of Santa Clause or the tooth fairy has come and gone in life. I once took those things to be true, but the actual affairs of the world have revealed parents and family behind those things. Those were easy to outgrow; other outgrown beliefs were more slower and more difficult to let go.
I once believed there was a distinct line between Christian and Secular. I do not intend to unpack here the theology of whether or not you can determine the salvation of a movie; I have no idea how to baptize a software. For the purposes of this post, and in hopes of keeping it short (since I realize most people will not read it because its not a video and no one is going to read it if its long), I want to speak quickly to where this demarcation has lead us.
IN trying to make a strong dividing line between Christian and Secular, we went to a point where we have overused the term "Christian". Hans Küng wrote, "Inflation of the concept of 'Christian' leads--like all inflation--to deflation." In attaching the term to EVERYTHING, we have inoculated ourselves from the true meaning of what it means to BE A CHRISTIAN.
I used to believe God loved me because, theologically, He had to. I outgrew by expansion to believe God does not just love me; he likes me. I have come to believe God does, in fact, love me relationally and personally.
I outgrew the belief that the God of the Old Testament is different from the God of the New Testament. I had always struggled a great deal with the Old Testament and putting it up against this “God of Love” we speak of in the New Testament. As I mentioned yesterday in my post about Bryleigh’s Bible, God does not change as He moves into the New Testament. As if God went away for camp to really find himself between testaments!
I used to believe pain was to be avoided at all costs, but I have outgrown that belief to know pain is a gift which tells us something is wrong. Pain is the warning system God wired us with to tell us something needs addressed. Something needs healed.
The questions go on and on, but if we truly desire healing and change in our lives, we have to look at our belief system. Chance is going to require insight and changing some beliefs we have deep down about ourselves, others, and God. Our beliefs drive our attitude toward ourselves, others and God, and that attitude triggers our behaviors and actions. Someone who believes deep down that their parent is smart, funny, orderly but also believes that parent is a drunk, compulsive, and insulting is going to choose which of those beliefs will drive their own emotions and thus their own behaviors toward that parent.
Someone who believes they are not pretty, loveable, or are worthless will begin to live their lives looking for someone else who will make them feel like those things are untrue...never changing the belief, but only attempting to fix the behavior. They often end up with someone (addict) who will show an attachment to anyone who touches and gives themselves over to solving an addiction...because the original person would say that the addict "makes me feel loved, pretty and of some great worth." When in reality, neither person is being healed. The addict meets his need and the original person acts out without learning to heal the belief system; learning to change their beliefs about themselves without having someone else change their belief system. Only we can change our belief system...and in turn, change our destructive patterns and behaviors.
Someone who believes God is a tyrant who awaits his next opportunity to punish the sinner would naturally act out against the idea of God. He will never be able to accept Christ. Someone who believes God could never love me as I am; "not with the things I have done" will never be able to live the Christian life of joy. He will never be able to truly worship or pray.
Once we begin to change our belief systems, we can begin to heal and step away from the behaviors and problems that have destroyed so much of our lives.
I believe it has to start spiritually so that God may begin to walk us through our healing. Out of what is believed spiritually comes our morals, values, and relationships, how I view myself, and others.