Do We Live Out Our Beliefs?

We are not called to a life of fame, worldly greatness, and fortune. Jesus is calling us to live what we know is right, to step out and do what we say we believe; to live our faith. One person who acts on their beliefs is worth more than 10,000 with beliefs they only chatter and babble about. We should be people of integrity and action, where what we say and what we do are synonymous. There should be no difference between what we say we believe and how we live.

Most people’s actual lives and beliefs are not in sync, and that goes for the Christian world. Think of all the largest corporations; they have slogans, mottos, and logos about making our world better, serving our nation, and working today for a better tomorrow. They say that you, their customers, and your well-being, safety, and happiness are their top priorities, while their stockholders and CEOs grab and pocket as much of your wealth as they possibly can.

Think of all the governments of the world that talk of peace and meet in the name of peace and cooperation, while they keep spying on one another, and spending their countries more into debt buying weapons of war instead of plowshares for peace. And there are those strident voices for peace who simultaneously laud the strength of their armies and subsidize huge corporations devoted to war and death, and export those weapons to other “peace-loving” nations.

Think of the Christians who say that God’s love and love for their fellow man is the cornerstone of their beliefs, while they criticize and wag their fingers at those with different beliefs, talk negatively about their neighbors, yell at the driver who cut in, neglect the emotional needs of their children, and rush by the homeless on their way to the mall.

Most everyone believes that no one should die of starvation, live in abject poverty, or live without access to proper medical care and clean water. It has been said that extreme poverty and much sickness could be erased from the earth overnight, if we would turn our creative abilities from preparing for war to teaching life skills and raising the living standard of the poor of this earth.

Yes, we proclaim, publish, and broadcast our beliefs in peace, prosperity, liberty, and justice for all, yet we continue on with war, poverty, needless sickness, injustice, and bare sustenance living standards for much of our world.

“Never again,” we say. “The war to end all wars,” the slogan. “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.”

Do you see how very rare it is for a man or woman’s life to be in harmony and in sync with their professed beliefs? Many call this integrity or alignment, when what you say aligns with who

you are and how you live. When those three notes of your life are played together, that chord will resonate and cause others to want the same harmony running through their lives. But when what you believe, who you are, and how you live are not played together as one chord, the result will be a discordant sound that may momentarily rattle the bones, but will never bring anyone to life.

As Christians, the words and example of Jesus should reign supreme and be lived out daily through each of us. We are called to a life of compassionate service and to be a force for good in the communities in which we live. We are called to love the homeless, the widow and the poor,

be a voice and advocate for those with no voice, welcome into our circle the disenfranchised, and love those whom others disdain. We are called to feed the hungry, educate the unschooled, give shelter to those with none, and treat each person as the divine creation that they are, knowing that, “Therefore by the grace of God go I.” 

We are called to love those who don’t love us; to even love those who hate us, even when we feel they don’t deserve love. Yes, there are those souls who do these things and have stayed true to the voice of their conscience, but they are the few, not the many.

As Christians, we should be universally known in every nook and cranny of this good earth for our love, giving, support and compassion regardless of nationality, religion, color, or political affiliation. We are called to love first; anything and everything else is secondary.

Robert Ritzenhein
Robert Ritzenhein

Robert Ritzenhein, after retiring from full-time missionary service, volunteers at Friends Shizuoka in Japan, organizing Christian programs for area rest homes, and is the yearly Santa at the city’s hospitals.