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The Power of Faith (Not Religion)

For many of our readers and patients, this is Holy Week, a period of time when they celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. For others, next week is when they remember the time God carried the Israelites out of Egypt through a dramatic series of events. So, on this week’s “Thunk Right Thursday,” I want to look at the power of faith. Faith is not only a key part of our message of “Move Right, Eat, Right, Think Right, Live Right;” it is important to any physician’s practice. But I’ll get to that in a little bit.

What Is Faith?

There is no way to count the documents written on the subject of faith; it has been the centerpiece of human existence since the beginning. Wars have been fought, nations have risen and fallen, and people have been ostracized, institutionalized, and killed over faith. Faith is the central defining point of who we are.

But what is it?

People complicate faith with connotations of religion, but religion is not faith. Religion is a series of activities that are meant to represent our faith in a higher power. Religion may make people feel better about themselves and their lives, but that just shows that they have faith in their religion. I have faith in my relationship with God through Jesus. I trust what the Bible says about Him and about me. But that’s just one example of faith.

But faith is simpler than that.

If we distill it down to the essence, faith is any trust in the character of another, especially when that trust doesn’t have any other detectible evidence.

This morning, I sat down in a chair to write; I trusted my chair to hold me up. I expected that my computer would boot up on its own when I opened it. I prayed and asked God to enlighten my thinking on the topic of faith (I ask Him to help me write every article, but especially this one). These are all demonstrations of faith. If I didn’t have faith in the chair’s ability to hold me, I would not have sat down so carelessly. If I didn’t trust the computer to start (and I have plenty of reason to doubt computers), I would have been uncertain in my actions. If I didn’t trust my ability to write – and that God would answer my prayers and guide my words – I would not have sat down to write at all.

Think about it. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t think you could? I remember the first time I wrote an article that got published. I didn’t think I was qualified to write for a publication – I had never done it before. I had no previous experience to prove that I was capable of writing an article. I had to have a little faith in myself to reach out beyond my previous experience and try something new. But acting on faith (in myself), I took a risk, and it worked out. I got published. Now, I do it all the time.

That’s the key I want to get to: faith isn’t really faith until you act on it.

What Do Your Actions Say About Your Faith?

I can say all day long that I believe a spinal adjustment will improve my health, but until I act on it and receive that adjustment, it’s just words. For all the religious words and concepts that are tied to faith, it really is that simple: I can observe what I really believe by what my actions say. I can say I believe in God, but what do my actions say? Do I pray? Do I live out the tenets of my faith? Do my words and actions line up? I can say I believe that chiropractic adjustments and dietary choices will positively impact my health, but do I apply that to my life, and to my patients’ lives?

If I say that I believe Jesus paid the penalty for my sin by His sacrificial death, how does that affect my behavior? How does it affect my mental and emotional health? If I say that I believe God delivered 2 million people from slavery through a series of supernatural acts, how will I live differently than if I didn’t believe it? Faith without corresponding action isn’t really faith at all.

I always find it interesting when people tell me they belong to a church, but they have no peace, no joy, no kindness, and no life. Declaring allegiance to a “faith” is not the same as having faith. Your actions tell me what you really believe.

My patients have to have faith in me and faith that my processes will help them. In fact, if they don’t have faith that what we do will work for them, they won’t come back. If they do come back, they won’t get results – UNLESS they trust that what we do will work for them.

Have you ever heard the expression, “his word is his bond?” That takes faith. If I say I will do something, and you trust that I will do what I say, you rest, assured that I will do it. You don’t give it another thought. You trust me, and you fully expect that, what I promised, I was able and willing to perform.

In fact, you know what you have faith in by what you don’t have anxiety about. If I say I have faith in God to provide for all my needs, but I stay up at night, fretting about money, then I don’t really have faith for that. My actions don’t align with my words.

Do you live with a sense of peace? Do you have confidence that things are going to work out positively? Is your body wracked with pain, loaded with inflammation, ulcers, elevated cortisol, tension, and other badges of stress? That will tell me more about your faith than anything else. Faith is rest. Faith allows you to relax.

Let This Week Be A Holy Week In Your Life

So this week, I would encourage you to spend some time thinking about what you really believe. Why do you believe it? Do you trust the words of someone you know? Something you’ve read or seen?

And more importantly, what do you differently as a result of that faith? What do your actions tell you?

Spending time thinking about what you believe could make this a turning point in your life.

If this article was helpful to you, I hope you’ll take a minute to share it with a friend. Who knows? Today’s article might just contain an answer they were looking for. When I sit down to write these, I trust that Someone smarter than me infuses His wisdom into it, because His wisdom has something for everyone, and His Spirit knows how to communicate with people through the words I write. I also trust that He is able to impart messages AROUND the words I write, supernaturally downloading to their minds what they need to see, even if I didn’t write it.

Whatever your faith, have a great week. I’ll see you Monday. You can trust that.

“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING. At the end of your principles is a PROMISE.”  — Eric Thomas

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