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Friday, November 5, 2010

Believing: willing it

Please read Doorag's comment from yesterday. I really think he has nailed it. Thanks for the e-mail today from a long time friend. I am praying for you! 

The third component of believing is "will." Obviously there is a given-ness to belief. Some folks seem to have an easier time of it. Our personality, our upbringing, our experiences all contribute. There is also something else at work. Christians call it grace, or Holy Spirit. So much of the reason "why" we believe is out of of our control.

But there is definitely work involved. Faith is a choice, too. I must decide to want to believe. I must decide to not want to believe. I have to decide every day to do the hard work of prayer, study and living a holy life. Or I have to decide not to do such things. I have to choose to be part of a community where I can grow and learn. Or I have to choose other kinds of communities. Probably the most important thing is to face myself and answer this question: "Am I willing to love, obey and worship a Creator?" The refusal makes belief almost impossible. The willingness to submit (always polluted by self seeking and infidelity) gets us going in the right direction. Either way, there is some deciding and choosing going on.

In my journey, even though I have solid intellectual reasons for believing many times I have doubts. Even though I believe my feelings can get in the way. Sometimes I do not care about God. Sometimes I am afraid I have been duped. Sometimes I just want to give up.... But even in those times I can choose to believe. I can choose to act like I believe. I can choose to do the things believers do. So if someone is in need I can treat them with love and respect, I can take time to help. I can read my bible and study. I can pray and listen. I can work to benefit my brothers and sisters. I can choose to act like someone whose horizon extends beyond this life. I can live in a way that reflects the belief that, in the end all will be well! If you can't believe in God maybe it is because, at least in part, you choose not to believe. 
Next we will look at what kind of God we believe in....

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