"Yes, I probably would."
"How about $5?"
"What do you think I am, Mr. Twain!"
"We've already established what you are, now we are just determining your price."
~This anecdote illustrates the difference between beliefs and preferences. Beliefs are not negotiable--they're not for sale at any price.
That's why Psalm 15:4 says godly men "keep their promises even when it hurts."
The godly man is honest, even when he could get away with small deceptions. He honors his parents even when they don't deserve it. He guards his heart even when it means missing the latest movie.
When tested, we discover that some beliefs are really preferences. That's fine if we're talking about fashion or food, but never when we're talking about God's principles.
Let's make sure we do more than prefer Christ. Let's believe Him (John 14:21).
*This anecdote has been credited to a number of people. It may not have originated with Twain.
What do the verses below tell us about genuine belief?
Romans 10:9-10: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
1 John 2:3-6: We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
James 2:19: You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.
To do part 2 of this study and see insights from this study, see Conditional Belief.
Copyright, Gail Burton Purath, 2014, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted