Monday, March 19, 2012

Do You Believe in God? Prove It!

I went for a walk today. As I walked, I listened to a podcast by Andy Stanley, the pastor of North Point Church in Atlanta. At a point during his message, a phrase popped into my head. (And no, he didn't say it or even hint at it, lest you think I am simply stealing his material) That phrase was this:

Our behavior reveals our theology.

I know, it's not earth-shattering. It's probably not even original. I probably heard it during some other podcast in the past and it's just now making its way out of my subconscious and into my conscious. But, I couldn't shake it. I tweeted it right away and decided to write about it in greater depth.

If you want to know what someone believes about God, you can ask them. But that will only tell you what they THINK they believe about God. If you want to know what they REALLY believe, you observe their behavior. That will tell you everything you need to know about what they believe about the character and nature of God.

A few examples to ponder:
  • Behavior: Stan refuses to give money to his church.
  • Theology: God is not capable of providing for me, so I have to do it myself.
  • Behavior: Albert spends a good portion of his time looking at airbrushed pictures of naked women on the internet.
  • Theology: Not everyone was created in God's image with a sense of dignity and value. Some people were created to simply be objects to ogle.
  • Behavior: Betsy is consumed by her physical appearance, especially as it relates to how guys look at her.
  • Theology: Not everyone was created in God's image with a sense of dignity and value. Some people have to earn it through the lens of others.
  • Behavior: Cory won't let anyone in his sphere of influence know that he is a Christian or talk about his relationship with Jesus.
  • Theology: A) Jesus isn't the only way to Heaven, and/or B) There really isn't a Hell.
  • Behavior: Sara owns a Bible, but only cracks it on occasion at church (and sometimes not even then because they have all the words on the giant screen behind the preacher).
  • Theology: God isn't all that concerned about my life and certainly doesn't have anything to say to little ol' me.
I could go on. You get the idea. This is not a matter or trying hard to be a good person, but simply the idea that what you believe about God will be revealed by your actions, like it or not.

How is your behavior betraying you by telling everyone what you really believe about God? (You probably shouldn't put your answer in the comments. That could be awkward for you.)

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