Why Most Beliefs Don’t Matter

A few months ago I was with a group of friends and we were having some intense discussion about the best ways to “do” Church. As I started to give my super-important opinion on the matter my three year old son walked in from the other room and interrupted me with “Daddy, daddy, I need to pee!” in his best still-doesn’t-get-it inside voice. In other words, he announced it proudly to the room.

That was a moment I will always remember. It solidified what I had been thinking for a while: my life is not made up of intense theological discussions. Most people do not have the time, education, or personality to engage in long drawn-out debates about whether God changes his mind, what will happen during the “End Times” or whether there is such a thing.

It gets dangerous when we are convinced that these are incredibly important questions even though it’s obvious that these questions are quite irrelevant to our everyday life. And it’s even more dangerous when they divide us. Imagine saying you can’t be friends with someone because they believe Brad Pitt should have never left Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie. What a fun thing to talk about. What a stupid thing to fight about.

My love must cover over a multitude of different opinions. Why? Well, mostly because most of my opinions just don’t matter. They are fun to discuss and they are fun to engage in. But fighting about them doesn’t make me a faithful Christian, it reveals a large ego and the need to be right, even about things that won’t change my life one way or the other.

My life is not shaped by my beliefs about esoteric doctrine that only seminary graduates know about. My life is filled with “Daddy, Daddy, I have to pee!” moments. And those moments thrust me out of my head and back into the present, out of thinking and back into loving.


7 responses to “Why Most Beliefs Don’t Matter

  1. Thank you for having the courage to say the things I always seem to be thinking but can’t ever seem to say eloquently.

    I think this nails it on the head. Life is about moments, about loving, and about community. Many Christians seem to believe that life is actually about judging, correcting, and being “right/good”. When all our time is spent evaluating others’ behavior, and trying to make them more like we think they should be, judging them harshly when they believe or act differently than us — we ENTIRELY MISS THE POINT OF BEING A CHRISTIAN. Jesus IS love. He was the ultimate pacifist. We must not forget to live LOVE in every moment. Even the “I’ve got to pee!!” moments.

  2. Jared you are funny! You sincerely believe your beliefs don’t matter and sincerely believe that it would be good if others know this! Peace be yours!

  3. I would challenge this. I think you are right, pertaining to our beliefs and how they affect our daily lives, it is negligible. However, I would say that our beliefs concerning such topics are a result of who we believe God truly is now and the personality he has, which is very much so a relevant topic that affects our daily life.

    If I am talking to someone about where I want to be in my life in twenty years, you are right: that doesnt effect anyone. But that twenty year plan does have subtle effects on who I am today. I think the same logic applies to understanding God. If we understand his eternal plan, then we can appreciate the subtle nuances of who he is today and the relevance of our daily practices in the long term.

    In the army, we call it the endstate, or the commanders intent. In all reality, it doesnt effect the squad level mission at all, but it reveals the bigger picture. Frederick von steuben showed that american soldiers need to know and understand the big picture in order for them to serve with the most efficiency. I think this is also reflected in most Christians daily lives. People desire to know the longterm effects, which larger scheme their actions are leading to.

  4. Your son coming to you saying “Daddy I have to pee” reflects the extremely important belief that his Daddy can help him and is willing to help him. If he ran up to a stranger and said he had to pee, or the lamp, then his beliefs would really matter. Our beliefs define everything we do. If we ignore the importance of these beliefs, then we could spend our lives telling lamps that we have to pee because we never took the time to ask if the lamp was our daddy or not

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