Belief. Faith. Any Difference? Does it Matter?

Belief. Faith.

Belief. Faith.

“Belief. Faith.” was last night’s topic at the Men’s Network session I attend most Mondays. Since I would spend today surrounded by Cindy’s colon surgery, I showed up early last night. I showed up eager to enjoy both my belief and my faith.

There are differences between belief and faith. Actually, they’re the sort of words that take on special, personal meanings. And so they’re words for which everyone has his own unique meaning. Such was the case among the 17 men around the circle last night.

I came away thinking that if you listened carefully–and hopefully I listened carefully–you heard the same core to what every man said.

We all pretty much defined ‘belief’ as what our head learns that makes us secure in what we understand and what we do and why we do it. We all pretty much defined ‘faith’ as what our heart cherishes that makes us secure even not understanding every ‘why’. Faith gives us confidence in what we do and that we do it because faith as the only ‘why’ we need.

I don’t recall anyone making the distinction that ‘belief’ applied to all sorts of life’s facts and phenomena and that ‘faith’ applied to God. But that did seem how our conversation leaned. For me, belief may be enjoyment that I can sit and watch the Lake Georgetown beauty.  And for me, faith envelopes that enjoyment in the ongoing, eternal creation that makes it so.

I like these two statements from Dr. David Benner’s interview:

Beliefs form as we try to make sense of life.
…they might start as assumptions……and finally emerge as certainties. 

[Faith] is not something that I hold; it is that which holds me.

Surely I believe in God, believe there is a God, believe God is the creator. Much more than that is my faith that comes from God, my faith that is God’s assurance and replaces need for ‘why’.

And so I share the beautiful Hafiz poem quoted by Dr. Benner in his interview by Dr. Jackie Stinton:

I have a thousand brilliant lies for the question: How are you?
I have a thousand brilliant lies for the question: What is God?
If you think that the Truth can be known from words
If you think that the Sun and the Ocean can pass through that tiny opening
Called the mouth,
O someone should start laughing!
Someone should start wildly laughing – Now!

Beliefs answer the why. Faith laughs at the need to question.

Thankful for Belief, for Faith, and for the Difference

Wonderful Friend,
the need to know why, the need to understand how,
the need to have confidence
that what I believe will happen
will happen
are why I hold beliefs.
The assurance my open heart receives,
the resolve with which I know your presence,
the love and peace and joy that are my being
are how I enjoy the faith that removes all fear.
I thank you, God, for belief and faith
and for the difference I find between them,
living as spirit in human costume.
And so it is. And so I let it be.

Love and blessings,



19 July 2017

Posted on July 19, 2017 at 5:37 am by Tim · Permalink
In: Belief, Faith, Prayer, Praying, Strength · Tagged with: ,