Beliefs and Actions

Beliefs and Actions

Last Sunday, at Conduit Church, Pastor Darren Tyler shared this quote by Sheldon Vanauken with us:

“The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians–when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths.”

It was one of those quotes and moments that didn’t sink in completely until later in the day. I do consider myself to be a Christian man, a follower of Jesus Christ. I don’t just go to church for the heck of it. I have made the choice to believe what I believe about God and Jesus and to try to live my life according to those beliefs.

And yet this quote and other parts of Darren’s sermon really made me think.

Do my actions match my beliefs?

Not always. When my actions don’t match my beliefs it’s usually because I’m not truly being present in the moment and I misinterpret a situation. I’m on some kind of lazy auto-pilot just cruising through the day and I react inappropriately to even the smallest thing that I perceive to be a slight. In those moments, I can be somber and joyless, self-righteous and smug, narrow and repressive. I’m probably anything other than the Christ-like example I say and believe I want to be.

I will never be perfect, but that can’t be an excuse for making choices that lead to behaviors that don’t align with my beliefs. I hope and pray that the number of times my actions and beliefs don’t match has decreased over the years as I’ve become more mature in my beliefs, my faith. Like anything else in life, it takes practice to get better at something.

The opening quote for this blog focused on Christianity and Christians. But the question I asked can apply to anyone. Do my actions match my beliefs? If they don’t – what do you want to do about it?

Here are a few things to try that can help:

  • Be present in the moment. Be intentional with your thoughts and time.
  • In the heat of the moment, if you can, STOP your initial thought and count to 5. That can often be enough time to allow yourself to consider your options and make a real choice about what you will do or say next.
  • Learn to forgive yourself and others. We often get stuck in a series of actions that don’t match our beliefs because of unforgiveness.
  • Strive to be a little better or do a little bit more today than yesterday. Small improvements add up to big results.

To learn more about The Journey Training, visit us at Hope to see you in the next class!


Defining Moments

Defining Moments

Have you ever heard someone say, “That was a defining moment?” Have you ever stopped to think about what that really means?

We all know the obvious “life changers” like getting married, having children, or graduating from college. They could even be negative such as the loss of a loved one, an automobile accident, or a divorce. But what about the other ones?
You may be wondering which ones I am meaning. I’m talking about those defining moments that make up who you are. Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? And on the other hand, why you don’t do the things you should do?

We are a product of our experiences. We don’t always remember our experiences. For example, we learn at an early age that when we cry, help would come.  Perhaps I began to associate my feeling with food, because my mother probably fed me to make me stop crying. Could that be a small part of the reason I grew to 460 pounds – and continue to struggle with food, especially when I am lonely, in pain, or angry? Who knows? But I want to find out!  You can read about some of my defining moments at

The truth is when we are born, our incredible brain starts recording every experience we have, along with the outcome, and we form beliefs – beliefs that serve us and beliefs that don’t serve us. We are a product of our beliefs. Most of the decisions we make are not made by us – they are made by our beliefs. And most of our beliefs were created by memories we may not even remember.

This simple knowledge can help us to change our behaviors. If you chop the weed off at the surface, it will grow back. But if you dig up the root, you can remove it for good. The same thing goes with our behavior. If you want to change the behavior you must get to the belief – the root – of why you do what you do.

Change is an inside-out transformation; not outside-in. Want to change your behavior – and in turn your results? Then find out where your beliefs may be missing the mark. The bible verse, “Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (Romans 7:20 NIV)

The good thing is that you can change. Each month in The Journey Training, we watch people find some of those beliefs that produce behaviors they don’t want anymore. They can deal with that “weed” and pull it up for good! If you’d like to learn more about The Journey Training, just go the

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