Our Beliefs Shape Our Behavior

I don’t know much about construction, but I have watched as a house was built over a period of days and months. I know about the materials used to build a home and the time needed to do the job correctly. I know that, at least in North Texas, most houses are built on concrete foundations. The cement is carefully poured within a particular area and is allowed ample time to harden before anything is built on it. I know that if a foundation is not properly poured, it will likely produce a home that is unsteady.

Topics: Holiness | Sanctification

I don’t know much about construction, but I have watched as a house was built over a period of days and months. I know about the materials used to build a home and the time needed to do the job correctly. I know that, at least in North Texas, most houses are built on concrete foundations. The cement is carefully poured within a particular area and is allowed ample time to harden before anything is built on it. I know that if a foundation is not properly poured, it will likely produce a home that is unsteady.

Long before Jesus walked the earth, Isaiah prophesied that He would be “a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation” (Isa. 28:16). Jesus referred to Himself as the cornerstone (Matt. 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17), and the writers of the New Testament also testified that He is the cornerstone of our faith (Acts 4:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:6). Our belief in Christ is like the foundation of a house. It stands the test of time and cannot be shaken when storms come.

However, my faith in Christ is not yet perfected. There are many truths I read in Scripture and want to believe, but my thoughts, feelings and behaviors do not always reflect those beliefs. Yet it’s okay to admit that we don’t fully believe the gospel in every area of our lives. In fact, pretending to believe is a dangerous business that can lead to a corrupted life.

If my beliefs are foundational to my life (like the concrete foundation of a house), then my thoughts and feelings can be likened to the walls of a house. When we moved into our home, the builder told us that we might start to see cracks in the walls because the foundation was settling. I’m not exactly sure what that meant, but I do know that it made me nervous. Bottom line, cracks in the walls are a good indication that the foundation may be shifting. So when my thoughts and feelings indicate that I believe something other than the gospel, not only do I need to fix the cracks in the walls, but I also need to examine the foundation to see where the real problem exists.

And if my beliefs are a foundation and my thoughts and feelings are walls, then the roof of the house can be likened to my behavior. Humans are incredibly consistent when it comes to actions and beliefs. We act in perfect harmony with what we believe to be true. Jesus said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). He’s telling us that our behavior will reflect what lies at the core of our beliefs.

So here’s my question: If I’m behaving in a way that’s contrary to the truth of Scripture, what beliefs are being acted out in that behavior? Because I am not fully perfected in Christ, I will sometimes behave in a way that’s contrary to my Christian faith. But I must remember that my behavior is a reflection of my emotions and thoughts, which are reflections of my foundation of beliefs.

Let us watch our lives carefully. Let us test our behaviors, thoughts, feelings and beliefs against Scripture. Let us not take lightly the exhortation of Hebrews 3:12-13: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” In such a way are the cracks in our behaviors and thoughts filled and our foundation made square once again.

Related Resources

Article

Giving Up My Own Way for Lent

Erin Brindley

Jesus’ confession in the garden gives permission to those on a Lenten journey to say, “I don’t want to, but I want to want to.” The first thing we should give up for Lent is our desire to self-protect against suffering that sanctifies.

Article

It’s All Working Together—For What?

Timothy Thomas

When Christians experience suffering, we latch on to the reality that God is orchestrating all things for His glory and for our good. But we sometimes over-prioritize and misinterpret the idea of “our good.”

Story

Becca Burt

After keeping an eating disorder hidden for years, Becca finally revealed her secret. While she still struggles daily, she has found that her faith grows stronger the more she shares her story.