August 6 I Tuesday
“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” —Psalm 11:3 (ESV)
At the end of the day, do our Christian beliefs and doctrine matter? Isn’t the all-important thing how we behave? Of course, how we behave is important, but why do we behave the way that we behave?
Imagine an iceberg, the tip of it is visible while the remainder of it is invisible, hidden beneath the water. Visible things are the actions but the invisible parts are beliefs: what a person believes to be right and true. These beliefs cause a person to develop their values: what is important and what is not important; where do we spend our energy and not spend our energy.
In other words, beneath the surface are our beliefs and values that are expressed visibly through our actions; our actions do not exist in isolation but are a result of what lies under the surface.
Although our actions are important symptoms––because we are told on Judgement Day that we will be judged based on our actions––when we look at Jesus’s teachings, it is primarily about belief and not behaviour. Why? Because what we believe, the foundation, is the cause of our behaviour. The psalmist asks, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). If the foundations, our beliefs, are faulty, everything else is going to be faulty. When there is a disconnection between what we believe and how we behave, the reality is we do not actually believe what we say we believe and our foundation crumbles.
When we find ourselves coming to a place like this and saying, “Well, I’m a Christian and I’m part of a church, where there are certain things that I believe,” but we behave totally differently at home, we do not actually believe it. We may have accepted it as true but we do not actually believe because it is not the driving force of understanding in our life. To live superficially is to live on the basis of behaviour only. But we need to live where our behaviour is utterly consistent with what we believe and know to be true. Paul tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Our spiritual experience begins in the mind with our knowing and believing. This is why it is important to understand what we believe because our convictions and beliefs will be the cause of our actions.
May our visible behaviour be an authentic reflection of God’s invisible truth from His Word that we hide in our hearts.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for revealing Yourself to us through Your word. May my visible actions be a reflection of Your truth hidden in me.