Holding To Your Beliefs — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Holding To Your Beliefs — Morning Devotions

Does holding to your beliefs make you strong or just stubborn? What does it look like to hold to your beliefs?

By Chris WittsWednesday 12 Jul 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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I love going to the movies. Always have as far back as I can remember. Sunday afternoon matinees as a kid. But in more recent years, one of the unforgettable movies I saw in 2016 was Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson. Maybe you saw that – not for the faint hearted I might advise, but it’s a World War two epic that received a 10 minute standing ovation at its premiere and based on the true story of a battle in April May 1945. It’s brutal, it’s bloody and may be offensive in its depiction of death and enemy fighting. But it’s the true story of Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to win a Medal of Honor.

Hacksaw Ridge. It’s about conflicts, duty to God versus duty to country. Individual freedom versus communal responsibility. It’s got so many themes running through it, healing versus killing, love versus hate and so on. But the film is also about an internal war. As Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, wrestles with this business of maintaining his faith as a member of the seventh Day Adventist Church, and his convictions, despite the extraordinary pressures to compromise his faith.

So if you saw the movie, you’d know that Desmond Doss refused to carry a rifle and will not shoot or harm anyone because of his religious beliefs. It’s really a fascinating, true story. And when Mel Gibson, who directed the movie, had a series of interviews, he said, “People have to be discerning about who they are and who other people are.”

How do you make that work without big clashes and upheavals? And then, he said, Mel Gibson said, “In life, we’ve got to deal with what’s around us in the best way we know how, holding staunchly to what we believe.” It was an interesting admission from Mel Gibson.

“It wasn’t easy,” he said.

So what do you think about people who hold strongly to their beliefs? I think mostly we respect them, even if we don’t agree with them. It’s not just religious people who have strong beliefs. So many people have strong beliefs about all sorts of issues, but religious belief is something different. I’m sure we admire people of conviction. Your thoughts are a result of your attitude. Actually, it’s a view of the world how you approach every day.

It’s stuff that’s deep inside us, isn’t it? But a good attitude will mean that you’re mostly lifted with encouraging thoughts.

Have you ever felt disillusioned and in despair? And what do you think that shapes your attitude in life? It’s beliefs. They drive you every day to make certain decisions. Beliefs can be very powerful. Just watch that movie Hacksaw Ridge and you’ll see what I mean, because what you believe actually gives you a sense of meaning to everything that goes on. Beliefs are a map, if you like to this world without the beliefs, you’d be lost.

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You couldn’t really recognise or judge, accept or adopt anything. Beliefs – they shape what you do. They can inspire you. They can pull you down. They can make you grow as an individual, or they can limit you.

Now. You might have inherited a belief system or values from your parents, and at some stage, we need to make a decision. Am I going to believe this for the rest of my life? do I formulate my own belief system? A baby, for example, is not born an atheist and agnostic or a Christian. As the child grows, he or she starts developing attitudes and what the home is like, what friends they mix with. What’s mum and dad like?

It’s different for each of us. Maybe you believe in the stars in astrology, people have been making life decisions by the stars for many, many years. There isn’t really any proof that the way the planets and the stars are aligned actually do anything. And yet daily horoscopes and astrological charts have become a guiding tool for many people.

Do you believe in intuition? Some people believe that some kind of sixth sense provides us with guidance that each of us have some beliefs that shape our daily lives. To believe in Jesus Christ is to hold onto Him as the one who will shape your life. So, do you believe in God? Do you believe that God is here? That He is sovereign and watches over you?

Let’s Pray

Lord, help me today. May there be a sense of a belief system in you for me and for others, amen.