I am weary of the idea that one’s beliefs don’t really matter. How willfully and impossibly ignorant must a person be to buy into such a notion? Belief is directly exposed in action.
Take, for example, the beauty industry and its hold on women. Now, I am in no way against make-up and hair products. I quite happily use them most days of the week. However, there is a HUGE difference in using make-up to enhance the beauty that one believes exists versus using make-up to try an achieve a beauty that one does not believe exists.
Or look at the scores of people who never really clock out of work, staying connected at all times to their offices via their cell phones. There is a belief at play – if I just make more money, I’ll be happy; they can’t do this without me; work gives me meaning.
To say that only action matters is like thinking that a chicken alive when it’s head has been cut off just because it keeps moving. It might successfully navigate the yard for awhile, but eventually that thing is going to be fried in lard and served up. None of us can go out and do anything without being motivated by belief; our actions are devoid of any worth or meaning when done without conviction.
This is true even of the worst hypocrite, and it’s why hypocrisy annoys us so much. When a person says that she believes one thing and then lives her life in direct opposition to that belief, we know that we’ve been lied to. We know that she is living out what she truly believes, no matter what her mouth may spout.
I’m also sick of hearing that it’s okay to do anything I want to do, as long as I don’t hurt anyone else. I can’t think of any action that doesn’t have the potential to impact another. I might want to eat a bunch of chocolate every single day, and that might not seem harmful to anyone else – but my husband might disagree the day I get diabetes and he has to learn how to help me take care of myself.
These things revolve around the notion of truth. Does it exist? Is it objective?
Allow me to state the obvious: Yes, truth exists. You know it and I know it. We can dance around in a pretty philosophical waltz all day long if want to, but any position that denies the existence of truth might as well deny the existence of life itself. It is that absurd.
Is truth objective? Well, tell me, is it wrong to sell a two-year-old into prostitution? If it is wrong, then not only is there truth, but there is an objectivity to that truth, which means that there is a standard that has been set by someone.
Dear reader, that Someone has to be God, specifically the God revealed in the Bible. Only He spells out exactly what He requires from us. Only He tells us precisely where the boundaries are and why He has put them there. Our stomachs recoil at injustice because we have been made in His image. We wrestle and justify and finangle, but at the end of the day we know, unless our consciences are totally seared, when we’ve made the wrong choice because of that something within us that draws us back to the Creator.
We can choose to be self-centered. We can choose to be nihilistic. We can choose to buy into whatever the current philosophical fad that this “postmodern” world throws onto the table, but none of this will ever satisfy. None of it will fit right. We are never comfortable with ourselves until we have come to acknowledge who God is and why He has the right to rule.