In every life there are periods of uncertainty. Regardless of the cause, these times will come and they are difficult to handle. Sometimes the uncertainty can become so overwhelming that we do not know where to turn. We loose our confidence in ourselves, our friends, our beliefs. There are certain situations in life that can shake a person to their very core. It is during these times that faith is absolutely essential.
Dictionary.com defines faith as the following:
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing
2. belief that is not based on proof
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.
5. a system of religious belief
I find that this definition is helpful when making the claim that I am making in this post – faith is essential. Firstly, faith is a noun, it is a tangible “thing” than can directly cause an effect within a person’s life. It’s essence is real; it is not a lovely dream or a figment of our imaginations. It is something we can have, or something we can lack.
Secondly, faith is a choice. You can choose to have faith. Nothing has to be proven or given to you in order for faith to begin working in your life. You simply have to decide that you believe.
Finally, faith is not exclusive to a singular religion, ideology, or morality. It is something that everyone can have and use whether Christian, Buddhist, Agnotic, or Athiest. Having faith does NOT require believing in God.
Now, I am a Catholic, and my faith is certainly affected by this fact. Becoming a Catholic was my choice- I was not raised in a Catholic household, and I wasn’t brought up to believe in the catechism. However, I converted while in college because I found that the Catholic religion was something that I could have faith in. I’ll be the first to admit that my views are dramatically affected by my religion; however they are not exclusive to it, I do not speak for all Catholics, and I do not think that you have to agree with everything I say. Now that I’ve made that disclaimer and given you some background, I feel it is safe to continue with my post…
I think that one of the biggest problems facing our world today is that so many people lack faith. On a regular basis I hear people saying, “I don’t believe in anything,” “life is all up to chance,” and “it has always been like this, and it will always be like this.” I’m here to call B.S. on all of those statements.
If you are living a life without faith you are not really living.
Everyone who wants to be happy has to believe in SOMETHING. One of my very best friends is a “devout athiest” who claims she doesn’t have faith. However, she believes in science (which by its very definition is a theory…check out the requirements for a scientific experiment if you do not believe me), she believes there is right and wrong, and she believes she has a purpose. Now I may be wrong, but I do not think that there is a single person on this earth who is completely devoid of faith. It is a basic requirement of human life that we believe in something.
So now that we’ve established that everyone has at least a tiny amount of faith I can get to my main “call to action.”
STOP DENYING WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN!!!
Stand up and admit that you believe in Christ, or an afterlife, or in having a higher purpose- whatever it is. Own your beliefs. Take control of who you are by accepting what you have faith in.
To use a personal example:
- I believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God and died for my sins and the sins of all mankind so that we could one day be reunited with our loving creator in Heaven.
- I believe that all life is sacred, even that of an unborn child.
- I believe that there is good and evil, and right and wrong, and that deep down we all know which category our choices fall into.
- I believe that there is an afterlife.
- I believe in the Bible and in its teachings about how we should live our lives.
- I believe that every person is entitled to life, liberty, and the ability to pursue their own dreams – so long as they do not impede others from living out that same right.
I could go on, but I don’t want to bore you. I also don’t want you to take my list and apply it to your own life without questioning it. My point is, I am not afraid to lay claim to what I have faith in. So long as I believe these things, I will not deny them. I don’t care if they’re unpopular beliefs, or if my faith isn’t cool or politically correct. I will act in accordance with the values I have set down for myself based upon my beliefs. It has taken me an extremely long time to get to the point where I am confident enough to say all this. But the point is, I have been so much happier with my life since I have started to embrace my faith. I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s extremely difficult at times to live your faith. But there’s also nothing worse than not living up to your own expectations.
So quit apologizing for what you believe. Stop being afraid to voice your opinion when asked (please don’t be one of those annoying dogmatic people who go around spouting off their ideals thinking everyone should agree – that’s just rude). Don’t be afraid to get into deep conversations and friendly debates about what you believe in.
I promise you, once you embrace your faith you will become proud of the life you live – no matter your circumstances. That is the key to a happy life. It cannot happen without faith.
So go, decide what you believe in – just make a choice, you’ll know what’s right for you – and start living your life accordingly. Oh and it’s okay if your faith changes as you experience more of life. You position on privacy, or abortion, or gun control can change tomorrow, and that’s okay. That’s called growth, and it’s not something to fear. You’ll know when you’ve embraced your faith, because suddenly the people who disagree with you won’t be able to threaten or scare you – because you will have made the choice to believe.