If a Belief Doesn’t Affect your Life – Do you Actually Believe It?
Can you make a list of the things in which you believe?God?
Obedience to the Commandments?
Love one another?
Tell the truth.
No cheating – not on your spouse, your employer, or your taxes.
No lying – not even if you are selling your car.
No manipulation, even if you REALLY want something to work out to your advantage.
No gossiping, even if it is absolutely probably true.
No hoarding of your own wealth if a family member or brother in Christ is in actual need.
No bragging about yourself, even if you really really deserve it.
It is fairly easy to make a list, even a long list of the things in which one believes at least in thought. Perhaps it would be more accurate to make of list of the things we do each day and then see what our actual beliefs are.
Let’s take a look at Sorbet. Sorbet was named after fruity ice cream because her mother ate so much of it while she was pregnant. A more appropriate name would have been Skittles. Sorbet’s motto and the Skittles candy company both have ‘taste the rainbow’ as their motto. Sorbet likes color. It shows in her hair which she keeps colored like a rainbow. Her clothes reflect all the colors of the rainbow, usually all at the same time. Her food is as close to the rainbow as she can make it. Her mashed potatoes and rice are always dyed a color appropriate for an Easter egg. I think you are starting to get a mental picture of Sorbet.
Anyway, Sorbet is a fine lady of forty. She looks forty, and she is forty. That worked out very well, except that Sorbet wants to look younger than she is. She solved that problem by simply telling people she is 47. She has made a practice of telling people she is seven years older than she really is because then they always say, ‘No! You look so much younger!’ That makes Sorbet very happy. She will be getting the senior discount at the IHOP before you know it!
Sorbet attends church regularly because she knows that is the right thing to do. She volunteers to take food to the sick and visit those in the hospital. She always takes at least a token gift when she goes. It may be flowers from her own yard, or from the neighbor’s yard, or a cheap bouquet from the market. Regardless of the exact origin of the flowers, Sorbet always puts them in a nice jar left over from the mayonnaise. She ties a bit of ribbon around the jar to make it look more store bought, while the jar still makes it clear that it is not from a professional florist. Most people assume the flowers must have come from Sorbet’s own flower beds. She never tells them any different. Her cooking works about the same way. She says you would be surprised what you can pop in the microwave and then onto your own plate to make people think you cooked it yourself. (She always takes the time to put a little rainbow color in the mashed potatoes or rice she distributes.) She buys nice plates and bowls at garage sales so she can tell people to keep the plate when she delivers some of her semi-homemade food to them.
Sorbet has learned that you can find out a lot about people when they are sick, or homebound and wanting someone with whom they can chat. She has also learned to ask leading questions to get them to tell a little more about themselves, or their neighbor, or a church member than is really a good idea. And, Sorbet is not above telling them a little more than she should of the very finest bits of information she has picked up while visiting someone else. She calls it ‘give a little – get a little.’
Sorbet is what might have been called an ‘old maid’ in another era. Today she is called a career woman. Her career spans about three jobs per year minimum. She loves to manage her jobs the same way she manages everything else. Taking credit for everything while spreading a little (or a lot) of gossip and rumors about everyone else is Sorbet’s idea of proper work place behavior. Most of Sorbet’s employers want to fire her after less than a week on the job, however they usually hang on a while in case Sorbet is the sort who loves to sue employers for wrongful termination. Sorbet is willing to sue anyone if she is given the slightest reason. However, to the good of most of her employers, Sorbet usually finds a reason to quit before she has to be fired. In her mind she runs the company while she is there, and someone else with brains enough to run the company shows up right after she leaves. Sorbet gives providence all the credit for that. If not for providence, more than half the companies and businesses in town would be out of business! At least that is what Sorbet thinks.
Sorbet lives alone. In theory she doesn’t believe in using any bad language or watching smutty movies. She also believes in dressing modestly, even though her body is her best feature. She has a very nice shape, at least when she wears that bikini she thinks she has a nice shape. She also isn’t above using nasty language when someone really makes her angry. She is careful not to speak improperly around children, unless of course they are very bad noisy children. In that case she is willing to tell them what NOT to do in language they won’t forget. And as for the television, it’s just what’s on. Sorbet thinks that no one ever actually turns their TV off just because of filth. Good grief, if everyone turned their television off because of smut – no one would even be able to watch a commercial.
Sorbet is also always a bit miffed if someone does not thank her properly for her good deed. In fact, she is prone to not do another good deed for that person until she gets a proper thank you, or until she forgives the unthankful attitude.
Sorbet has a baby brother named Neapolitan. That right, their mother was eating Neapolitan ice cream before Neo was born. Neapolitan was just too long a name for Sorbet to say, so she shortened it to Neo. Nea sounded like a girl.
Anyway, Neo has a lot of the traits that Sorbet has. He is neater and his hair is never colored like the rainbow. He does like to do good deeds that get recognition. Unlike Sorbet Neo is quite handsome and looks younger than he is. Because of his looks and polite manners Neo is often asked to do things at church like work with the youth or sing in the choir. He does all this hoping to meet the right people, people who can help him with his career or social standing. Neo is fairly satisfied with his life. If you asked him what his core beliefs are, or what he really values, he would give the same list as Sorbet. He is a bit hypocritical, too. For instance Neo likes girls, but he doesn’t care to get married. He says, ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?’ (That is a polite way of saying girls are willing to….. well - you know.)
It is pretty easy to spot people like Sorbet and Neo. Now, I am sure most people reading my articles are nothing like Neo and Sorbet. I mean that. But on the other hand, there is probably just a little bit of Sorbet and Neo in all of us. It is probably time for a hypocrite check.
Sorbet and Neo both have a set of beliefs. They could list them for you if you asked them. However, it doesn’t appear to really affect the way they live their lives. That makes the question, ‘Do they really believe those things?’
The question each Christian has to answer individually is, ‘Do I really believe the things I say I believe? If the answer is ‘yes’, then shouldn’t it show in how I live my life? Am I consistently trying to live a life pleasing to Christ? If my beliefs are not showing up in my actions, then do I really take those beliefs seriously? Do I even believe them at all?’
‘If a Belief Doesn’t Affect your Life – Do you Actually Believe It?’ is a question each one must answer for his or her self.
Are you ready to actually follow Jesus with your actions?
Down in the valley with my Savior I would go,
Where the flowers are blooming and the sweet waters flow;
Everywhere He leads me I would follow, follow on,
Walking in His footsteps till the crown be won.
Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!Anywhere, everywhere, I would follow on!
Follow! follow! I would follow Jesus!
Everywhere He leads me I would follow on!
Down in the valley with my Savior I would go,
Where the storms are sweeping and the dark waters flow;
With His hand to lead me I will never, never fear,
Danger cannot fright me if my Lord is near.
Down in the valley, or upon the mountain steep,Close beside my Savior would my soul ever keep;
He will lead me safely in the path that He has trod,
Up to where they gather on the hills of God.
Quick Thoughts for the Christian.
It is very common that Christians like to do things for others. It is also common that everyone likes to receive a sincere thank you for good deeds. Something is not usually done just for a ‘thank you’, but a thank you is a kind acknowledgement of an act of kindness, or charity, or even daily duty. When a thank you never comes people eventually begin to feel under appreciated. This eventually leads to avoidance of the unthankful person if possible, or stress in the home if the unthankful person is a member of the immediate family.
Here’s a good way to handle that. Every time you don’t get a thank you that you honestly deserve, it is time to consider how many times God hasn’t received the thank you He deserved from you. That is also a good way to get over that ‘nobody appreciates me’ feeling.
As Christians begin to be personally more thankful, the more their personal attitude will improve.
Honestly, a thankful heart is the beginning of change for the better in anyone’s life.
Have a nice day.