Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Belief before behavior, or the other way around

I was having breakfast with Bryan Scott this morning talking about life and following Jesus and gym memberships.

One thing we talked about was how behavior influences belief. If our behaviors don't line up under our beliefs we change what we believe rather than changing the behavior. We don't like the cognitive dissonance. We don't like the guilt. But we like the behavior, so we change what we believe.

Take for instance sex before marriage. The Bible is against it (that may be a lightbulb for some of you). God's not against it because he wants you to be miserable. He's against it because he knows that purity paves the way to intimacy. But you want to have sex outside of marriage. It feels good. So, rather than give up sex you change what you believe about the Bible. "God didn't mean that. That's outdated. But we're eventually going to get married." You get the drift.

But following Jesus is about lining up our behavior under what we believe. I am confident that if we, as Christians, would begin to do that the world would be overwhelmed by our lives and we wouldn't be able to keep people away from the Church. But that'll never happen if we keep fitting our beliefs up under our behavior.

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