20 Jun 2007

Beliefs

Submitted by Stephen Winters

Two nights ago I was in a men’s group. During my time to share I had read a page from a book called The Criminal Personality, Volume 1, starting on page 297. This book was based upon the pioneering work, that spanned well over a decade, of it’s authors. The page I was reading described how a large percentage (about 99%) of criminals (in the study) had had some religious training in their childhood. The page also talked about how criminals thought concretely about heaven and hell, God and the devil, etc.

One of the two co-leaders of the group was really set off. He went on a tirade about how he believes in a literal heaven and hell, God and Satan. He continued to raise his voice more and more to emphasize how important he though it was to believe these, and other, things he thought were so important. At first I tried to further explain, but that just set him off even more. He raised his voice and put strong emphasis on what he believed. His actions showed that his beliefs were going to win out and silence any opposing viewpoints. (In this case, the opposing viewpoint was mine. I could see that if I continued it could, and probably would, lead to a heated argument. I could also see my own sense of “wanting to be right” raising up within me, “wanting to be Right!” This was just my pride wanting to come out. So I quieted myself and just let him talk, let him “win”. And that was OK. My trying to prove myself right would have only have been destructive.) While beliefs are very good, we must make sure that what we believe is true. Our beliefs are not what it most important. Truth and love are important.
I did a Google search and found this:

  1. Feelings are not facts
  2. Don’t believe everything you think
  3. Don’t believe everything you believe

This was first published on my other blog here.

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