Friday, January 15, 2010

The Link Between Beliefs and Behavior

I am currently reading Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free and I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that this is the first book of hers that I’ve read. I’m embarrassed by that because she attended our church for years when she was in the Little Rock area. I heard so many women talk about her books and how profitable they were, but I just never got around to reading one until now. (Those of you who know her, please don’t tell her I waited so long to pick up one of her books!)

The main point of this book is that what you believe affects how you act. This isn’t new information but I have actually had two conversations in the last month about this very topic, both of which occurred in two different witnessing opportunities. So it was encouraging for me to read such straightforward, practical teaching on this subject. In the opening chapter, Nancy explains:

Beliefs produce behavior. Believing things that aren’t true produces sinful behavior. What we believe will be seen in the way we live. Conversely, the way we behave is invariably based on what we believe to be true – not what we say we believe, but what we actually believe. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, KJV)

The important thing to remember is that every act of sin in our lives begins with a lie. We listen to the lie; we dwell on it until we believe it; finally, we act on it.

That is so true and it is precisely the reason why we should immerse ourselves in the TRUTH so that we can combat the lies that surround us daily. In a later chapter, she gives this illustration to show why what we believe about God is so important:

Several months ago, one of my eyes became extremely irritated and I began to have problems wearing my contact lens. At first I assumed I was having an allergy attack, which I tried to treat with allergy medication. However, the problem with my eye persisted. Because of the irritation, I could not see through the lens clearly; my vision was distorted. The irritation became so great that I had to remove the lens for a few days until I could get an appointment with my eye doctor.

When he examined my eye, he explained that I was not having a problem with allergies; further, the problem was not with my eye itself but with the contact lens. Somehow, the lens had been damaged – the curve had been flattened and the misshapen lens was rubbing against my eye and creating an irritation. In order to restore my vision, the damaged lens had to be replaced with a new one.

What we believe about God is crucial because it affects what we believe about everything else. A distorted or damaged view of God will distort the way we see everything and everyone around us. Frequently we fail to realize that what is causing the irritation and turmoil within our souls is not the people or the circumstances we think are annoying us; rather, the problem is that we are seeing things through a damaged lens.
I think this book should be required reading for all Christian women! Whether you are tempted to believe a lie or you know someone who is, the very practical teaching in this book will be profitable for your soul.

1 comment:

boo4baby said...

When I read it years ago, I remember thinking that this wouldn't apply to me (how arrogant!!!). I was amazed at how many lies I believed by my actions! Great read! Thanks for sharing. I have had two conversations lately about "we all do what we believe." A lot of people don't believe that OR are convicted by it, as I was. Love ya!

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