“Belief” is one of those words we’ve mangled so badly we aren’t sure what it means anymore. When someone says “I believe,” what have they actually said? Do they mean hope? As in, “I believe my team will win.” Do they mean concluded? As in, “I believe red is the best color.” Or, do they mean think? As in, “I believe it might rain today.”
“Believe” actually means conviction, and conviction means action. If you believe something, it will drive you to action. Here’s why this matters. In families, believing in each other is critical to the well-being of each member. Parents believe in their children and then commit to making sure their children have every opportunity to fulfill their destiny. Parents make sacrifices. They save up for college. They encourage and discipline. They commit themselves to their child’s best.
Spouses are the same way. To believe in your spouse means you’ll make the necessary sacrifices to make sure the best happens for your spouse. You’ll work so they can go to school. You’ll wash the dishes so they can study. You’ll keep the kids while they’re in the studio. If you believe, you do everything you can to make it happen.
In our world, most people don’t believe anymore. They do what they can to get by, but they don’t look for things to be much different, and they certainly don’t expect things to get better. So, when “unbelievers” come into our churches, they need someone to believe for them.
- They need someone to believe Christ can work in their lives and bring something out of nothing.
- They need someone to believe they are a person of value and worth.
- They need someone to believe Christ can bring a future of hope from a past of despair.
And when we do, the church has to act. We have to listen to their stories and help them unravel the regret, blame, and guilt so they can begin the hard work of healing. We have to help them let go of lost dreams and then sit quietly while the Spirit gives them new dreams.
We believe all of this and more is possible for anyone and everyone that walks into our church. And when they can’t believe themselves, we’ll believe for them. We’ll keep believing for them until the day comes when they can believe for themselves.