There is a disconnect between belief and action. Many have written and expounded on this, and yet it still seems like a growing problem which can also be called a perpetual problem of humanity. Our actions don’t always align with our stated beliefs. We say we believe one thing, yet our lives and our actions demonstrate that this stated belief is not what we are operating by, but it is something else entirely.
I just saw this in a larger than life fashion. At the beginning of a comedy special that recently came out, the viewer is shown a clip of the comedian praying, even ending the prayer with, “in your name we pray.” This is how we are led to believe this comedian starts every show, praying before he goes on. But once the show starts, we immediately see the disconnect. The first words out of his mouth are taking the Lord’s name in vain followed quickly by all manner of curses and vulgar topics. That seems like a drastic disconnect. Sadly it is one that we are all too familiar with because we all probably do it.
We have all been in the middle of this disconnect between what we believe and how we live. It can be as dramatic as the no holds barred fight with the spouse right after church service. Or it can be the more subtle disconnect of just praying without expecting God to work. All of us struggle with this disconnect with faith and life, between what we believe and how we live. We go to work on a Monday and Sunday seems very far removed from our situations. We get involved in conversations at work and our beliefs seem irrelevant.
The blame can be put in so many places, from the separation between secular and sacred, to the possible lack of application given at our churches, or even the lack of understanding that we have about how faith is lived out. But the reality is that while there is no doubt that some of these have played their part in this problem, at its root the problem lies within humanity.
We are in a constant struggle. Our hearts are a battlefield. On one side is the desire to do what we want, how we want, when we want, and in the way we want. It is the side of self-autonomous sin. On the other side is the side that knows we are under the Lordship and rule of our Savior, and so we listen and serve Him in all things. This is the side that grounds our faith, knows the truth, and seeks to please and live for God. The disconnect happens when we forget who we are in Christ and choose to live in the ways of self-reliance, self-determination, and self-rule. We forget what Christ has done for us. We forget what Christ has done in us. We forget who we now are in Christ.
So what do we do when this disconnect happens? Do we try harder? Do we beat ourselves up more? I think we do what we were called to do when we first came to Christ. We came not by trying harder, more, or better, but by looking upon Him and trusting in what He did. So when we experience that disconnect between what we believe and how we live, we must look to Christ, seeking his direction as the disconnect is pulled back together. Remember who you are in Him and know that your disconnect can be mended by continually looking to Christ.
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7
Adam is the lead pastor at River Valley Community Church in Fort Smith, AR. He graduated from Denver Seminar in 2009 with his M.Div. Adam is married to Kacee, and they have two kids, Titus and Jillian.