I woke up believing I should have a shower because I was sweaty and showers are fun. I then believed that breakfast would be good for me so I went downstairs. I read and journaled for a bit because I understand that my brain works better when I’ve processed things out loud or ink.
I believe that clothes are important, so I wore them. Yesterday I believed that the sun burned, but I didn’t believe that the south African sun was as strong as the Australian one so I didn’t wear sunscreen…. today my beliefs were changed.
In reality, it doesn’t really matter what I believe. The ‘what’ is almost superfluous, it’s extra. What does matter is what you ‘do’ with what you believe. The “how”. The “how” for my belief in wearing a hat today, was actually wearing it. So today I didn’t get sunburnt. If I JUST believed it, I still would have gotten burnt.
Take this to a larger extent. Today I was sitting outside of a shop eating a pie (which is a whole separate story of me believing pies aren’t good for me, but I still eat them….) but this man walked up to me and was quite friendly, and gave me the old ‘I need money to get home.’ He chucked in the old-school “my kids…” and “I need a new job” and I kept the conversation going because I’m convinced that handing out money to complete strangers on the street who can clearly eat usually ends up wth them buying heroin. My ‘how’ was getting to bottom of his story. Why was he led to ask complete strangers for money? And since I had no clue about hobo rules in South Africa I couldn’t flat out say no, so… the conversation continued. Then out of nowhere the shop owner started yelling at the man.
He looked at me and asked if he had been asking for anything, there was a familiarity shared between the two as though this hobo was a regular. The store owner called the police.
The ‘how’ of belief for this asker was that he deserved to ask people for money because of his people’s history of oppression. The white blokes “how” could’ve been a whole range of things. He had a how that valued people but also held a certain standard for his business.
Our ‘hows’ need a reason. Our hows need faith. Our hows need to be great. But we need hows to live. We need to act and love people. Without hows we are just thinkers. God isn’t a thinker. Jesus wasn’t a thinker. They are lovers. and so we should be.
But for too long the churches beliefs and hows have been miles apart and destructive. If we believe that the gospel is indeed good news for now and eternity, but we don’t share it….. then we don’t really believe.
If we believe that Jesus died for everyone, and yet we prefer one certain group, or we set up political parties or write constitutions that make life easier for some people but not the rest. Or we avoid certain people on the street….
If we believe each person is unique and uniquely loved, then shouldn’t we love uniquely. Instead of trying to carbon copy love the masses….