Belief always precedes behavior

By Dave Henning / March 14, 2018

“Belief always precedes behavior. . . .  To change the way a person responds to life, change what a person believes about life.  The most important thing about you is your belief system.”- Max Lucado

Maxx Lucado continues Chapter 2 of Anxious for Nothing as he notes that the apostle Paul in each of his epistles, addressed conviction before he addressed action.  Thus, belief always precedes behavior.  And your belief system defines the most important thing about you.  Therefore, Pastor Lucado stresses, your belief system is:

  • your answer to the fundamental questions about life
  • concerned with the interior of the tent, not the exterior
  • the set of convictions (poles) — all of them unseen — upon which your faith system depends

Furthermore, a proper understanding of God’s sovereignty carries enormous weight in the treatment of anxiety.  For anxiety often results from perceived chaos.  We’re troubled when we see ourselves as victims of unseen, turbulent, random forces.

Following World War II, psychologists studied the impact of combat on ground troops.  Because those troops endured a constant threat of bombs, machine gun fire, and enemy snipers, they felt “emotionally dead” after sixty days of fighting.

In contrast, fighter pilots demonstrated comparative calm, despite their 50% mortality rate in combat.  Since they had their hands on the throttle, perceived control created calm.  Put another way, Max states, “anxiety increases as perceived control diminishes.”

Consequently, certainty masquerades as a cruel imposter.  Although we all desire certainty, the only sure thing = a lack of certainty. Especially for control freaks, life becomes a downward spiral, a cycle of anxiety, failure, anxiety, failure.  It’s impossible for us to take control, because control isn’t ours to take.

As Max writes in the next post, the Bible offers us a better idea.

Today’s question: What belief most drives your behavior?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Peace is within reach”

About the author

Dave Henning

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