Putting theology into practice

One of the more frustrating things about living on this side of the second coming is the disconnect between the way I know I should be living and the way that I actually live. In the end, I think the cause of it all is simply unbelief—a lack of trust that what God has said in the Scriptures is really, really true.

Our behaviour, how we live and how we respond in certain situations is mostly driven by our deepest beliefs. For example, if I really believed that white cars are safer than cars of other colours, I would get a white car if I had the chance. This heart belief can be completely different from what I believe in my head. Using the same example, if someone asked me whether there is a best colour of car in terms of safety, I could have said, “No, there is no statistical evidence that one colour is safer than any other colour.” This can be illustrated by the diagram below.

The disconnect between our beliefs and our behaviour

And that’s the problem. The truths that I get taught, and what I know in my head, is not fully reflected in my heart, which is really what drives the way I live.

What I really want is for my head beliefs to be fully absorbed in my heart, so that the way that I live is the way that I want to live. Like this:

Absorbing head beliefs into the heart

In the end, given my feebleness and my sinful nature, it is God who does this. Sometimes he does so by letting me consciously practise what I have been taught (not an easy task in itself), so that by repetition, over time, my heart gets changed. Like this:

Changing the heart through practice

Pray that God would continue to change our hearts so that we may conform to the likeness of his Son.

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