What is faith? You hear about it. You read about it. But what is it? One dictionary defines faith as “a confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, an idea, or a thing; a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.”
To me, faith is ACTION.
One of my favorite passages from the Bible defines faith:
For we walk by faith, not by sight. —2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
Faith is an integral part of attitude—you can’t see it or touch it, but you can see its effect. Sometimes, the absence of faith is visible also. People who don’t have faith in anything are some of the most miserable and fearful people you’ll ever meet. They don’t have faith in themselves and never achieve anything. They don’t have faith in other people and always believe others are trying to cheat them. They don’t have faith in God or life, and are always expecting the worst.
Faith is a key ingredient in creating a positive attitude and lifestyle. You can’t do it without faith. Faith is the glue that holds you together when, by all accounts, you should be shaken apart. Faith in God is what keeps you going when everything’s falling down around you. Faith in yourself and faith in others is what ties all of us together and makes life worth living. The opposite of faith is fear and doubt. When you doubt, you don’t believe things are going to work out, that the worst will happen, and that everything will fail.
Think of it this way: doubt is negative belief. Faith, on the other hand, is positive belief. The funny thing is, either way you go, you believe in something that hasn’t happened yet. Both are just mindsets or attitudes.
People who have faith tend to have a positive outlook about the future. They believe in the basic goodness of humankind. They’re confident in what they can accomplish and they feel great about life and their potential.
One of the most inspiring stories I’ve seen unfold before my eyes is the story of Drew Brees, the quarterback who took the New Orleans Saints to their first-ever Super Bowl victory. Drew was playing for the San Diego Chargers when he hurt his shoulder and the team let him go. He was in talks with the Miami Dolphins, but they decided not to take the risk that his shoulder wouldn’t heal. He finally signed with the Saints. A few seasons later, he led the team to their first Super Bowl and beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17.
Drew had to have faith in himself the whole time, even while medical professionals expressed no confidence in his ability to play. He had faith in his team, even though they had never been to the Super Bowl. He also maintained his faith in God, believing that difficult things in his life would end in success. He kept trusting and believing— and it paid off.
In his book Coming Back Stronger, Drew talked about his acronym of FAITH. The “A” stood for attitude. According to Drew, you can’t always determine your circumstances; but, you can always determine your attitude. That’s how he sees faith—it’s based, in part, on your attitude.
Drew is someone I look up to and draw inspiration from. This guy led my hometown football team to the Super Bowl, on sheer faith. Wow! If I act in faith, what kind of great things will I see come to pass in my life? Will my faith and my life be the instrument to help other people achieve their dreams? I hope so. Drew’s story highlights three important areas you must have faith in if you want to achieve a positive lifestyle— faith in God, faith in yourself, and faith in others. Think about some examples in your life that illustrate the importance of faith in each of those areas.
There is a direct connection between faith and attitude. The more faith you have—spiritually, personally, and in others—the more positive you’ll be. When you’ve messed up, when people let you down, and when life is going wrong—that’s the best time to kick your faith into overdrive. You’re not living in denial. You’re continuing to move forward confidently. One of the shortest and best ways I’ve ever seen faith explained was told to me by my friend Amber. She said, “Here’s how faith works:
“Believe, apply, receive. Repeat.”
That’s faith. You believe, you act, and then you achieve! Kick in your faith with whatever you’re doing in life! Don’t wait until you’ve done some great things before you start believing in yourself. Believe in yourself right now! Don’t wait until people prove themselves to you. Have faith that they can achieve great things!
Finally, have faith in your spiritual purpose. Faith isn’t something you feel—it’s something you do!
Fear and doubt keep the doors of life closed. Faith is what kicks those doors open.
“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others.” Ryan C. Lowe