Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Faith & Doubt by John Ortberg

I just got done reading Faith & Doubt by John Ortberg. What is interesting to me is how it addresses the fact that faith and doubt actually go hand in hand with one another.

Sometimes I am hard on myself when I realize I am faced with a situation with less than 100 percent certainty. Reading this book made me realize that rather than viewing faith and doubt as two completely opposite perspectives, I must recognize that the very nature of faith is believing in something wholeheartedly when I am unsure.

While this approach may be left open to a good debate, I would rather take it for what it's worth and leave it at that. Whether there is a discussion or not, I know who I am, who I stand for, and the kind of loving God I am 100 percent sure about. As far as I am concerned, that perspective shall remain unshaken and unchanged and will rely on Him so that it will never falter.

There was another part of the book that imparted an incredible ministry lesson to me and I would love to share it here.

WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE DEFINES WHO WE ARE.

Sounds true enough but it's not that simple. We must be careful to define what kind of belief matters most.

Two people might say they believe in the same thing, yet live lives that are very different from one another.

How does this happen? When we talk about faith and belief, there are three different levels of personal convictions.

1) Public convictions are beliefs that we want other people to think we have, even though we may not actually embrace them.

These are the convictions that we state because of the impression they make on others, not because they communicate truth about who we really are.

2) Private convictions are those beliefs that we genuinely think we believe, but ones we might abandon in certain circumstances -- especially in the presence of peer pressure.

3) Core convictions are the beliefs by how we actually conduct our lives.

These three kinds of convictions can be summarized as "what I say I believe, what I think I believe, and what I reveal I really do believe by my actions."

Reading this left me completely amazed by Jesus Christ on how He demonstrated a life of consistency between what He said, what He thought, and what He did.

It made me all the more want to put my faith in Him. Interestingly, Jesus never said, "believe my arguments." He said, "follow me."

Once again, today, I make a decision that I will.

1 comment :

Thankful Paul said...

Wishing you and yours much love, peace, and happiness!