Did you know that you’re full of beliefs that you can’t prove? Just think about how often you step on a plane and fly suspended by unseen forces for hours. Or consider how you believe in the presence of electricity even though you can’t touch it. You must have faith in many everyday things even if you don’t realize you’re using faith. In fact, faith (or belief) is a major component of the human system. And it’s such a powerful force, that it holds the keys to your success or failure in every area of your life. After all, we do what we do because of our beliefs. So, have you made the connection between your beliefs and your actions? What do you believe about faith? Let’s tackle a subject that many of us struggle with.
Faith is commonplace in our lives.
We generally trust people in our relationships. We trust the manufacturers of our cars. And we even trust the people who raise and process our food, believing that it’s safe for consumption. Occasionally our trust is misplaced – yet we still trust. Trust, believe, faith – whatever you prefer to call it – is something we must have just to keep our daily lives moving forward. Our beliefs are what actually generate the motivational urges that influence us and propel us to action. If we don’t do what we believe, it’s because we don’t really believe in it or we’re being forced to do something else against our will.
Faith has led us to nearly all of our discoveries in our modern way of life. Not even scientists can venture into the unknown without some kind of faith. In fact, great people are often called people of faith because of their vision for conquering the impossible. In his book about faith and our temperaments, Dr. Ray Lincoln writes, “Faith opens up the worlds that are unknown to us. Faith ventures where reason can’t go and often forbids us to go. All paths to success begin with faith.”
What do you think? Is faith (or belief) an element in your life of which you are mostly aware?
Or do you tend to remain unaware of its effects?
All faith is not equal.
There’s positive belief and there’s negative belief. You can have faith for positive outcomes and principles. Or you can have faith in negatives. Because of the way your human system is designed, both types of beliefs have power and influence over you.
Therefore, it’s important to know two things about faith.
1) Faith has to have an object.
2) Faith has an intensity behind it.
Your faith has to have an object. If the object of your faith is negative, such as an act of hate or revenge, the power it generates in you is negative. If the object of your belief is positive, such as love, kindness, God or the attitude, “I can and I will succeed,” the power that’s generated is positive. So it makes sense that when whatever you believe in and commit to is positive in nature, it will do you and others good.
Moreover, your faith has an intensity that makes it a strong or weak belief. The stronger and more intense the belief, the more power it has to influence your decisions and actions.
Since positive forces are more powerful in the long run than negative ones, all faith isn’t equal. That’s why damaging ideas and evil powers can be overcome. That’s good news, right?
Consider the practical example of what happens when your faith is challenged by adversity.
There’s nothing like losing a job, suffering an accident or illness, dealing with a broken relationship or experiencing sudden loss to shake your faith. We’ve all experienced this to some level. Something hard or scary, or both, comes along to challenge the strength of your faith. And very quickly, you sense your faith for positive outcomes either weakening or strengthening. Sometimes the shift in either direction is quite dramatic. If your faith or positive beliefs weaken, so does your motivation. Or conversely, with a stronger sense of faith, hope and motivation build. It’s human to do this.
But you get to ultimately choose just how strong your faith in good things is going to be. It’s based on the object of your focus and the intensity with which you focus on that object.
Your faith requires action.
Have you noticed that faith always requires action? Faith in a dormant form is only theory and has no effect – until it’s applied to something. I suppose that’s why you have to take a “leap of faith.” Or why the Bible refers to faith, even the size of a mustard seed, as having the power to move mountains, if you’ll command that mountain to move. In another chapter (James 2), it refers to faith without works (actions) as dead. Whether your beliefs and your focus are on positive outcomes or negative ones, your actions follow. Much research and controlled testing have proved that a high degree of faith that you’ll succeed is more important than practice, preparation, or even natural giftedness.
But what kind of action is required? Each of the temperaments (or inner designs) handle faith differently. Each of them approaches faith with different preferences, presuppositions, and inner strengths. And it’s the use of these strengths that can activate faith and apply it to any mountain in your life.
So what do you believe about faith?
Faith challenges each person differently. Put simply, the more you know about yourself, the more you are able to strengthen your faith and focus on positive outcomes. Your success in work, family, personal development, and all relationships require faith that you can be successful. So why not go to the “User Manual” on how to build faith according to how you’ve been made?
- Start here:
- Consider this helpful resource: An Introduction to Faith and the Temperaments
- Come back next week as we dig a little deeper into how each of the temperaments builds and activates a powerful faith in positive outcomes.