Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives. – Tony Robbins
And the final words of the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS in Lybia on February 12, 2015 were “My Lord Jesus”.
Then they were beheaded…..
Watching the gruesome video, sent chills down my spine and tears to the back of my eyes as I steeled myself to the sight of the throats of these 21 men been ripped open on the screen as though they were animals.
As I looked at the faces of the Christians and the hidden faces of the ISIS men, I wondered and marveled at the deepness of the beliefs of these two sects of people….
- One set with faith firmly rooted in God that they were willing to give up their lives and embrace death rather than deny their faith.
- The other sect with an ardent belief in taking the lives of supposed unbelievers and this came easy to them.
I wondered “Why do people do what they do?” “What principles or values do you have that helps fashion your choices in life?”
The answer however came to me in one word … COMMITMENT.
At a seminar I recently attended on Leadership, Commitment and Service, I learnt that there are 3 levels of commitment:
- Continous Commitment/commitment because you have to be.
- Normative Commitment/commitment because you ought to be.
- Affective Commitment/commitment because I want to be.
Then I understood that whatever we do; whatever actions we take is based on the level of commitment to a certain course or mission.
If we take a deeper look at our lives, we see that we have commitment to different reasons/purposes or even people – family, faith, religious beliefs, career, vocation, hobby, loved ones, marriage etc.
However, it is our level of commitment that determines the amount or level of seriousness we input into whatever it is we are committed to and this is greatly inspired by the beliefs or principles we tenaciously hold on to.
Be it right or wrong, we make our choices based on what we believe in.
Belief creates the actual fact – William James
Hence, these questions arise:
- What do you see as important in life?
- How committed are you to those things you claim are of so much value to you?
- How much of your time, talent or resources do you give to these things?
Living a great life is a matter of been effectively committed to it. You have to know what you want and be determined to go get it despite obstacles you come across along the way.
NO ONE is going to live your life for you. You have to figure out your goals and purposes….find out that which gives you joy and complete happiness. Go into your happy place and operate from there.
Be firmly committed to becoming truly happy and successful and you sure will.
However, I see it as imperative to mention here that you let your conscience be your guide in whatever choice you make. Do not go by what the world say is right or wrong but be guided by what God says is.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the choice we make….Get this right: whatever decision you take, it is a choice you make. You are never coerced into committing to something you do not believe in.
Your life…your choices is always between you and God, no one else.
You are either for good or against it. There is no in-between. Don’t think been indifferent is not a choice. Fence-writing is a decision. It is a choice you make but you just delude yourself into thinking you are not on any side.
I encourage and enjoin you to believe and be committed in all things that are good and holy, as the Bible encourages us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with whatever is truthful, holy, just, pure, lovely ans noble. Be mindful of whatever deserves praise and admiration.”
Treat others the way you want to be treated. We, each of us want to feel loved, respected and appreciated. Some people just mistake fear, domination and people-pleasing attitude for all these.
Just as Jim Caviezel said in his interview by Dave Cooper, “They all say well, ….Choice! Choice! My freedom to choose…Every generation of Americans needs to know freedom exist not to do what you like but having the right to do what you ought”.
Let your actions reflect your commitment to what you believe in.
Life is much more than you know and the memories we make are a combination of the little choices we make every now and then.
No matter how you look at it, moral truth and moral reasoning can never be excluded from society; from us as individuals. It is a fact that will always be.
Good always stands to counter evil. This is basic. This is fundamental. THIS IS TRUTH.
Jim Caviezel again in his interview admonishes, “Set yourself from this corrupt generation, my brothers and sisters. You were not made to fit in. You were born to stand out”.
Your beliefs are formed from and based on what you are exposed to. Think happy and positive thoughts because you live out your life the way your mind plays it.
We are what we believe – Omoakhuana A. Imoisili
We all need to be a light to the world. Let us be the gospel that the world reads. Let us be the beacon of hope that the world needs.
I am neither a preacher nor a preacher’s wife but this is my faith and firm belief.
I am a proud catholic and never ashamed of the gospel of Christ. This is my faith and what I believe in. Severally my faith has been tested especially at those critical times when I was at my darkest and weakest but my true commitment to God; to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament…..the grace of God Almighty, saw me through.
I am not a catholic because I was born into a catholic family or attended a Catholic high school. I am a catholic because I choose to be. I am a christian and catholic because I have encountered God and felt His love here present, especially in the Holy Eucharist.
I am not holy nor righteous. I am a sinner and each day I pray for the grace to draw nearer to God and walk in His steps. However, my tenacious commitment to my faith is borne out of my true love for God and I don’t know how I would live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe in.
This is my faith. This is my belief. This is my commitment. I have no apologies for being a Christian and more so for being a Catholic.
So, I ask you:
- What is your faith?
- What are your beliefs?
- What are you committed to?
- What do you stand for?
- What do you represent?
Think hard about this and decide today on what side do you stand. Choose to be different and not join the bandwagon. Embrace the whole of you….your weakness and strengths alike. While you make the most of your strengths, you strive to overcome your weakness.
You are strong enough and wise enough to make the right choices. You do not need the praises of man but the approval of God you feel in the quiet of your heart.
You have been blessed with the gift of understanding and wisdom. Be sure you know what you are getting into before you are committed to it.
A commitment is a promise and it is binding. Think before you talk or act.
Even if the world stands against you, remember that what God says is more important than what any man says because He is God and has the final say.
Never forget that you are the difference the world needs to be guided back to moral justice, peace and truth.
God grant eternal rest to the brave 21 Coptic Matyrs.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it very enlightening and interesting.
What are you committed to? What tenacious beliefs do you hold on to? Do they bring joy and happiness God, others and yourself? I so would love to read your comments and contributions on this. Be sure to leave them in the comment box below.