This post is meant to sound provocative, because it is…Think about your beliefs. What do you believe about the world, or about yourself, or about your relationships, or about God? Why do you have those beliefs? What are the reasons that you have for believing in them? What else? Why else?
Think about it. I have spoken to many people about a myriad topics, and I have witnessed time and time again, that we do not know “what we actually believe” and “why we believe it.” Sure, we can share or spout off a quick five minute sound bite, but upon further inquiry – what do we really believe, and why? If a loved one were to ask you right now, why do you love me – what would you tell them? If your boss asked you why do you like working here, what would you say? And, when you think about those responses is that what you really want to convey? If so, great; if not – well, maybe we should dig a little deeper and discover more about ourselves and our beliefs.
Having spent some time in Seminary I have had a chance to speak with people about their beliefs in God, and I have noticed a significant amount of vagueness being verbalized. Okay, you may believe in God – that’s great; but why do you believe in God? Why else? What does that belief mean for your life, in fact, what does it mean to believe in God? Does that belief filter and shape your decisions, words, and behaviors? Why? What do you expect to happen as a result of your belief? Who are you? Who are you in relationship to God? Is God beyond our ways of knowing, or is God immanent, or both? Why?
Think about our goals in life. How often do we set goals, and form clear reasons for why we want a specific outcome. What will it “mean” for us if we achieve it or don’t achieve it, or what “will happen” if we achieve our goal or don’t achieve it? Who will be affected from it? Why?
What about our relationships? Why do we love our friends, family, or significant other? Why else? Why else? What are relationships for? What needs to happen to strengthen your relationships? Do those whom you love, really know how much you care?
Getting clear within ourselves about our beliefs and why we believe them is a form of intrinsic motivation that can be sustainable to weather life’s storms. Being clear about our reasons for what we believe in – is internalized power, because we are making ourselves consciously aware of our implicit assumptions about life. Some of our beliefs stem from our parents, and we never really thought about why we believe what we do. Other beliefs are formed from our experiences and the meanings we have attributed to those experiences. But, what would happen if we began to evaluate our beliefs, maybe we would find some beliefs that don’t serve us or other, and maybe we would discover some beliefs that are useful and important to our core values. In fact, what are your values? Why? What does having the value of _______ mean to you? I realize that this post is a bombardment of questions, but others have noted that the questions we ask guide the answers we find. Therefore; if we change, add, or adapt our questions we will find new answers. Blinded by vagueness essentially means that if we are not clear about ourselves and what we believe and why we believe it; we are in a sense blinded by our assumptions of the world, and our relationships because our assumptions are vague generalities that lack the specifics and precision of clarity. Questioning ourselves can be so liberating because it is extracting the implicit and making it explicit.