Monday, January 30, 2012

What do you Believe...Really?

We say we believe a lot of things, but what do we really mean when we use this word?  Does it mean that we agree with an idea or "think" that it's true?  Is a belief something that exists only in our minds, or does it have something to do with our actions?

My friend, Tim, in a recent blog post (in referring to Gary Chapman's book, "The 5 Love Languages"), shared that his "love language" is words of affirmation.  An "atta boy" can keep him going for a long time.  I got to thinking about this and realized I'm just the opposite.  I tend to feel that words are empty unless they are accompanied by actions.  This love language has been called "acts of service".  Actions mean a lot to me.  My husband, who loves words of affirmation, can tell me all day long that I'm an amazing woman (And he does--often.  I really should appreciate him more!), but if he says it while I'm doing dishes and he doesn't grab a towel, well, the words ring pretty hollow to me.

Maybe that's why the topic of beliefs is interesting to me.  I hear people say a lot of things, but because of my particular love language, I'm always watching their actions to see if they really mean it.  I can relate to the apostle James, when he said,  "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."  To me, the advice to live what you believe is just plain silly.  You will live what you believe.  You can say whatever you want, but your actions will rat you out every time!

Lest you think I'm just preaching here, I have my own struggles with hypocrisy.  This was pointed out to me once again last night as I was talking with my friend, Cassandra.  I was fretting over what to do about something (I'm the queen of internal conflict), and I said to her,  "I really believe...".  She commented,  "You still have a lot of cognitive dissonance over this!"  Boom!  Stated belief not lining up with actions.  I was claiming to believe something, yet still fretting over whether to act on it.  Truth is, I don't know if I really believe what I said.  Back to the drawing board.  I will know what to do when I finally decide what I believe.

So, what do you believe...really?


  1. Totally agree with you that faith without works is dead. Your husband and I may struggle with recognizing an opportunity to show love by service because it's not our love language. Don't think it's that we're not genuine in expressing our love verbally. The same would be true for my children that feel love with hugs, gifts or quality time. Though I try to remember how each one receives love, there's a good chance that I may forget.

    1. Yes, for that reason I try hard to appreciate that those words come from the heart, and I also remind myself that he spends all day doing acts of service to keep us all warm and fed! And it can be a full-time job keeping up with the love languages of all my kids too.

  2. Very nice blog! You are quite the writer. Or should I say "I believe" you are a very good writer!

  3. Thanks! I'm glad you like it!

  4. I hear you on acts of service, though my primary love language is physical touch, AoS is a close second.
    I gotta say I don't know if what your dealing with should send you back to the drawing board so to speak. The decisions you and L are making veer off the beaten path. Even if in your heart it feels right you are still battling your head and most likely years of indoctrination. I feel like a lot of us especially in political, religious, and societal arenas are seeing change in the distance and recognizing it as GOOD but maybe aren't sure how it's going to look yet. I know that's how I feel. Every change I have made for myself and with regard to my family has taken me into deeper realms of abnormality. I am, for the most part, at peace with it but every once in a while I get a slap of reality that shakes me.

  5. I guess I should give you more hugs, right? ;)

    I didn't have to go back to the drawing board because my hubby talked more with me and of course took some action as he always does. We're taking steps of faith and already seeing some confirmation. I think sometimes it's just hard to let go of old ways of thinking. Thanks for always helping me with my cognitive dissonance!

    I get what you mean about deeper realms of abnormality. I spend a lot of time there!