Ready for some testing?
Everyone has beliefs. Everyone believes something. Our beliefs inform our daily living…how we live and how we act, and how we view who we are and the world we live in. This all contributes to forming what is referred to as our worldview.
Our worldview is shaped by things we believe to be true. Believing (also called faith) contributes to the very fabric of who we are. Beliefs attract related beliefs. Overarching beliefs attract many smaller beliefs that play out in daily life.
All of our thoughts, words, and actions of everyday find their source in what we believe.
Sometimes it’s suggested that we keep our beliefs to ourselves or at home. But this is not possible. The very fabric of who we are (our beliefs), goes with us. If someone says, ‘that beliefs should be kept to ourselves or at home’ they’ve just proven the point, because they attempted to impose that belief (their believe) on you and asking you to abide by it. Their action conflicts with living out their beliefs. Inconsistency results and further reflection is needed.
You see, everyone has beliefs. They go everywhere with us and shape our daily living; they contribute to the very fabric of who we are. Our beliefs show up when we do.
Another interesting thing with beliefs, maybe you’ve noticed this, people will claim things like being inclusive…inclusive until bumping up against those who don’t agree with them. Hmm. Maybe drop the belief claim of ‘inclusivity’. There seems to be conflict again with a stated belief and a living out that belief.
And we’ve all done this. Said one thing… but believed, or lived out, another. Or said we believe certain things and live in conflict with what we say we believe.
It’s important then that our beliefs are not just stated, but embraced, lived out, and grounding for us. Not only in how we live, but how ought to live. How does our belief system deal with failure? Especially when we don’t and won’t always live up to how we ought?
It’s wise then to test what we believe… to test the source, the validity, and the truth…and even the grace… of what we believe.
What informs my beliefs? How do my beliefs show up everyday? Is there grace?
And after some testing, it’s always wise to further evaluate if we ourselves live consistently into and out of what believe…and what we say we believe.
Here are numerous questions that might be helpful to test and evaluate your beliefs.
Where do the things I believe come from?
What makes them true? Are they true?
Who says so?
Is it just me claiming a truth or do others say it’s true…and for how long…months? Years? Decades? Centuries? Millenia?
What is the evidence?
Do the things I observe around me substantiate what I believe?
Are the things I believe tested or ‘just accepted’? How do they stand up to testing?
How have previous generations viewed what I believe?
Does what I believe accurately answer questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny?
How does what I believe shape my identity? How does what I believe shape others?
Who am I? Who do others say I am?
What do my beliefs say about who I am? And who I becoming? Where do I belong?
What do others around me believe? What and where are the conflicts with what others believe?
How do their beliefs impact their life? Am I missing something? Am I wrong somewhere?
What’s my purpose? Why am I here? Why are we here?
Is there greater purpose?
How did this world and this universe come about? Where did we come from?
What do my beliefs say about how to conduct myself? And how are we to conduct life together, as family, community, or society?
Are my beliefs consistent with how I live?
Where and how does justice, mercy, and grace fit in?
How do my beliefs inform me about the difficult things in life like pain, shame, guilt, suffering, and evil? And how do I deal with these things as a result of what I believe?
How does love, beauty, joy, peace, and forgiveness fit into what I believe?
In the bigger picture, where are we all headed? Is there a bigger story? If so, what is it?
What happens when I die?
Does what I believe give me hope? Comfort? In life…and death?
What hope do I experience now?
Who can I talk with if I’m wrestling with what I believe?
When you’ve tested and evaluated what you believe and why, your confidence strengthens. When you meet others who may disagree, you will stand firmly on your well-assessed beliefs and be open to potential blind spots.
But remember, beliefs go everywhere with us and deeply shape the very fabric of who we are. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
We all have them.
And knowing how much they inform and shape us, be sure to ask questions and test what you believe. If what you believe doesn’t hold up under testing, maybe it’s time to seek out that which does.
Feel free to drop a note if you want to chat on exploring beliefs further.