Belief dictates behavior! How to know what you really believe about God!

     In late 2015, I proclaimed a statement from the stage "Belief dictates behavior". The context of the statement the first time I said this was in speaking toward the constant struggle of sin within a christian's life. The point at the time was; that your beliefs about God, life, yourself and others will lead to behavior that reveals those beliefs. We act out what we really believe. Oh how God has continued to use that statement to reveal how much I trust in Him, how much I live out the things I preach and how often I fail to walk in what God is sovereignly putting in front of me. God has since expanded on the essence of that saying; allowing me to see with an even greater light that "BELIEF dictates behavior".

     If you want to know what a person believes, you should watch their life and listen to their talk. The scriptures tell us that the mouth reveals whats in their heart (Luke 6:45). Taking people's speech is an incredible way to understand their beliefs. You can see so much of a person's emotions through their words and their use of words. Let's take gossip for a second, although it is one of the most destructive actions within a church, it reveals much more than the destructive nature it has. When someone says to another person (especially in the church) something like, "I heard the pastor was going to shut down Wednesday night programs" to another person or even to a staff member not the pastor, that is gossip and it is sin. What it reveals to those listening is this:

  • the person sharing the gossip feels the need to have some importance within the debate or statement. 
  • It makes them feel some sort of control and gives them a sense that they have information no one else has. 
  • It also speaks to the fact the the person is not interested in finding out whether it is true or not. 
Why this last point? Well, if they were interested in truth, they would have gone to the pastor who they said was the one making the decision instead of speaking to others. If the person sharing the gossip really wants to know if its true or not (or even to know the purpose for the so called decision), then they must go to the one that is making the so called decision.

  • The gossip also reveals that this person does not really care for the person they are gossiping about. 
They don't really care because they have just planted a thought (whether right or wrong thought) in another person's head about the person they are gossiping about. There is no concern that what is being shared might harm the pastor's relationship with the one they are sharing it with. I have had some argue that they shared this kind of information with an Elder or another pastor because they wanted the truth? If that is the only person they asked; I can see their point but again question their care for that pastor or person since they did not ask the pastor in question first? Should we share those statements with our accountability partners, yes if they are approached in a manner that the person sharing is not gossiping and is really seeking what they should do about it. If they are doing this to vent and get their accountability partner on their side (and I said "and"), they are now gossiping.

     This can be said about gossip not toward a pastor but toward someone else.

  • Gossip reveals that we don't care about the person's value in the eyes of another, we feel we have importance through sharing the information and we show others we need control.
It is an ugliness within the flesh that needs to be killed at the feet of Jesus through intimacy every day.

     Don't miss that people's words reveal what people belief. When I hear Christians who talk about purity and loving God, make lustful statements toward an actor or actress (or anyone else but their spouse or anyone they should not lust after: i.e. everyone), it reveals to me that they do not really believe in purity or the totality of God's Word. Our words do reveal much of what we believe. If we would listen long enough (even to ourselves) those words could become a noose around our sinful necks or reveal that God is growing us out of the sin we were once entrapped in.

     It is not just words that reveal our beliefs, our actions do to. The act of gossiping reveals much of our character and who we really believe is in control. Lustful actions such as staring at an attractive woman in a gym, putting ourselves in immense debt or spending hours looking at porn; reveals that we are not satisfied in what God has provided. Our core belief in those actions is that "I must provide for myself because God is not sufficient in those areas I feel desire". That should scare us that we would think that, but we do. Our actions reveal how much we believe God's Word, believe in God's Love, believe in God's Sovereignty, believe in God's provision and believe in God's Supremacy. When we have to force people to act the way we want them, we believe that God is not big enough to correct His kids and we believe that God really doesn't love them because Hebrews 12 says He disciplines His kids. It also reveals that we believe we are THE AUTHORITY in those people's lives.

     When we act foolish and mean in business meetings or walk around bullying people; it reveals our belief that we must have our say, no matter what God says. How about when we say God is "calling us" to a ministerial position within a church or churches? When that doesn't happen, how we act reveals how much we think God is in control. Are we tempted to kick open a door because pastors we sit under will not recognize "our call"? If we are "called" and we act on those thoughts; then God is really not sovereign to us. Every action we do reveals what we believe. If I trust that God is in control and He has a plan for me, I don't have to make that plan happen, He will. If it is God's plan then God WILL make happen. I have to remember that I am on God's journey for me, not my self proclaimed destiny for Him.

     So why am I writing this? Is it because someone hurt me or I want to hurt someone? No it isn't. I personally have been struggling with how much I trust God in certain situations. Particularly toward sinful acts of people I am around. There have been people I want to correct, people that I feel need a holy love tap with a closed hand in the face (sorry, I watched "Creed" the movie last night), and people who seem to have an agenda every time I talk with them. What am I suppose to do when I see sin? Is God asking me to act? In some situations I found that God has had me confront sin. In others I found that God had not. How did I know, intimacy with God! Through my prayers about people and their sin, God has revealed to me whether to act or not. He has revealed to me my heart in wanting to correct them (sometimes good, sometimes horribly selfish) and He also shown me my personal struggle with sin. God shows me often how much my desire to correct them is not really about their lack of love for God but about my perception of justice. I have had to pray often these kind of prayers: "God I know You love them, because you love all of us. They are Yours, and if they are Yours then you will discipline them whether or not you invite me into that process". My emotions while thinking about them even reveals to me what I believe about God. If I am riled up when I think about them, I believe God has not justified me or the situation. My belief about God in that particular person's life is exposed.

     There are so many more areas that our actions, emotions and words truly reveal our beliefs. Do you trust God as our supplier? Do we believe everything God is doing, no matter how much it hurts, is for our good? Do we believe that His Word is the final authority about Him? There are so many more areas where our beliefs are revealed in our emotions, words and actions.

     If we say we love God, then shouldn't we walk in that love? If we say we trust God for everything in our life, what we do when we have no control reveals how much we really trust God for everything. If we say God has "called" us to particular ministry; what we feel, think and do when we do not get ministry in our timing or ever; reveals how much we believe God has "called" us to it and is capable of making that happen. If God "called" us, then God will open the door. No man can shut it! What happens in us and our of us when those doors don't open reveals much about us and our belief in God's Will. What we do with disappointment reveals much to us and others.

     How do we know what we really believe about God? Listen to yourself, analyze your emotions when you are under pressure or given blessings and observe your actions to see if they line up with what you believe or say you believe. How do we know if others believe what they are saying? Watch and listen, it will open your eyes to so much about other people. Tomorrow I am praying about sharing a new tool I was given by 2 incredible men in Georgia in how to deal with wrongful behavior. It is such a great tool, so I hope I have time to write on it tomorrow.


  1. Thank you Shawn for this awesome piece. I really appreciate the insight you've been given from our Father, and looking forward to reading more of your work. Don't know exactly how many people will see this, but you impacted my life today. Thank you again and God Bless.

  2. FaithDrivenDad, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I am thankful that God has used something He has taught me. Blessings to you!


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