What I'm Seeing Now


Is your "belief" a Bully?

I love Charles Buell! He invites me to think! I wish to develop some different thinking on his post… and I include some of his words.

Belief against belief – that’s what we call war? Here’s a question! Could that be what caused the war in heaven? Or was it something else?

This is a considerable thought! Could one’s belief bully another’s? Is belief handed down? If beliefs were handed down generation to generation, I would be quite a different person. Values should certainly handed down from parent to child and to the next child so that generations do not have to learn the same lessons over and over. But belief?

I don’t think that belief is learned by being handed down. Belief is something that is learned through practice. With enough practice, belief becomes conviction. When practiced, and then applied, long enough, it becomes something else again.

It is hard to trust someone who does not act with conviction. If one behaves with conviction, and that conviction is founded on correct principles, we can know in advance how this person will act in a given situation. One thing follows the other, and we can trust in that. How can we have faith in inconsistency?

When belief is grounded in correct principles, we can govern ourselves, and our belief that we are on the right path grows. Should this kind of belief butt up against another who’s belief is just as strong but opposite ours, we can rest assured that we are safe because of the correctness of the principle we have learned to apply.

For example, I have a secret weapon in my business. As a home inspector, I am busy. Sure, I have applied tried and true business principles – developing my intellectual capital through education and practice, product diversity and development, cool tools, marketing, and operating in a Golden-Rule fashion. Certainly that has held me up. But is that why I am busy?

I think it has helped. But it is not my secret weapon. I have a silent partner. And I not only believe in him, but believe what he says. I try to listen and apply. What is my secret weapon?

I pay tithing.

Offerings too, but I faithfully pay tithing. And I don’t mean here and there. I mean a true 10% of my income. I have paid a full tithe my entire adult life.

How can you live on 90% of your income you might ask? Very well!

Why do you pay tithing you might further ask? Because I BELIEVE I could not live as well on 100%.

How is that possible? CONVICTION. Conviction born of application. I have tried it.

I read once long ago, in Malachi 3:10, where someone I BELIEVE in challenged me. The challenge was not to pay tithing. The challenge was to “prove [Him] herewith” to see if, by paying tithing, bucket loads of blessings would be poured out -- if I would simply try it.

It is one thing to believe in Him – it is quite another to believe what He says.

I tried it. It works! I tried over and over. It works over and over!

I BELIEVE in the Heavenly Father who makes that promise to me. But here is where the conviction comes in – conviction born of application – I have come to KNOW that I will be blessed.

I BELIEVE this Heavenly Father to be the most powerful Being in the universe. I have come to KNOW that I am one of His children.

So what has happened to my BELIEF? It has grown into CONVICTION to be sure. But it has also grown into much more. It has grown into FAITH.

And this faith has grown as I have applied it in different ways. I have applied many correct principles as I have been allowed the freedom to make choices to govern my life.


When I obey the law I am not acted upon by the law. I can act for myself.

When I apply the Golden Rule in business, I am not acted upon by the fear that someone will discover that I have cheated them. And should they discover that they have been cheated, I am not acted upon by them either! And I am free. I could go on…

So, what happens if my belief, my very strong belief, in the commandment of tithing, butts up against someone who has the very strong belief that I am stupid for doing so? Do I sense “inherent danger” in that? Of course not! Do you think for a minute that my years and years of personal application of a principle are going to be dashed by someone else’s belief that I am wrong? NO - I have proved the principle to be correct! How can they prove it to be incorrect?

And again, since that person’s BELIEF is not based in a correct principle, it is that person’s lack of conviction that must be overcome, and a foundation of correct principle built upon, before any CHANGE can come about. But they must be left free to choose.

Is my BELIEF a bully? No, it’s just my BELIEF, one that has been planted and nurtured and expanded and applied and grown into FAITH.

Can this principle be applied to our country’s current financial difficulties? Why yes!!

Can belief against belief cause a war? That depends. It can if one belief is based on incorrect principles. It did in heaven…

     How much do you have "invested" in what you think? ----how about in what you believe?

     Contrary to common thinking,”belief” can actually be, more part of the problem, than it is part of the solution.

     What is belief?

     Mr. Webster defines belief as, “A state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing, a tenet or body of tenets held by a group, or conviction of the truth of some statement or reality of a fact especially when well grounded.”

     Everything about this definition leads one to conclude that we “learn” what we believe---whether we pick it up from a book or whether it gets handed down to us from our parents----who got it from their parents, who got it from their parents.  While we would like to think that what we believe has some aspect about it that is “cast in stone”---that our beliefs are some description of absolute truth----I really see no hard evidence that this is the case.

     So if you can humor me for a moment, and entertain the notion that perhaps what we believe is learned, it is not a very far leap to a point where we can see that perhaps what we have learned might not be accurate----or at least not entirely accurate.

     Another problem with beliefs is that they can seem VERY LOGICAL, especially in the light of them being what we are used to as well as being given further support by those that agree with us. 

     The inherent danger is that our beliefs, sooner or later, are bound to come up against the beliefs of someone else who is just as sure of, just as used to, and just as committed to their set of beliefs.

     Is it not our belief systems, and how much we have "invested" in them, that not only prevent us from truly looking at the current financial crisis, but also landed us here to begin with? ("Invested"----when one thinks that life as they know it would end if it turned out that what they think is not the truth.)

     What beliefs will each of us have to let go of in order to find a new path? 

     Entitlement beliefs?

     Ethnocentric beliefs?

     Political beliefs?

     Belief beliefs?

     When we suspend belief even for a moment----we provide an opening for change.  Sure it is “uncomfortable”----even downright scary.  The alternative is what we call war----belief against belief---where my belief is bigger than your belief----and “righter” too. 

     Is your belief a bully?


Charles Buell



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Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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Comment balloon 1 commentJay Markanich • February 07 2009 08:14PM
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