Inner Formation of the Heart

Part 11: Principle #6--Central Beliefs Not Affected by Immediate Decisions

    Posted by Klaus Issler on December 21, 2009

#6       Our central beliefs cannot instantly be changed by a mere decision or a heartfelt commitment of our will, at any time we want to.

             Do not misunderstand, central beliefs can change, but not just by deciding to believe something differently than we currently do.  Central beliefs are much more stable and not affected by our whims. For example, even if someone offered you $50,000 to do so, you could not believe that president John F. Kennedy never existed, or that you have a different job than you do (e.g., I am a NASA astronaut), or that you live somewhere else than where you do. True central beliefs are based on actual reality, not illusion or perceived reality as false central beliefs are. 

            We are not the only one’s that affect the change of our central beliefs.  God’s mysterious working in our lives is a key part of this formation process. Also, our relationships and our community (and their central beliefs) have an important part to play. So if we add into this mix God’s role and our community’s (and culture’s) role, and we remind ourselves about the nature of central beliefs—that these are fairly stable and settled—we can recognize that we cannot change them by ourselves, instantly, by just deciding to. It is more complex.

            Furthermore, when we ponder this matter we realize that we would not want to have the power to change our central beliefs just by a decision of our will at any given moment.  If we had such power, then we would know we had created that belief, and it would not necessarily be a belief that matched reality. The transformation process into Christlikeness, supervised by God, involves conforming our central beliefs, over time, to match REALITY, not just to fit our whims or what we feel like at the moment.

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Next Musing: Principle #7 Central Beliefs Affected by Long-term Intentional Seeking

Dr. Klaus Issler