Melvyn Tan
November 15, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Beliefs – Shake ’em

[blockquote source=”Hebrew 12:27 -29(NIV)“]The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming […]

[blockquote source=”Hebrew 12:27 -29(NIV)“]The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”[/blockquote]

Our Beliefs
We all have beliefs in which we held on to. Sometimes these beliefs are empowering, other times they are not. One of the most empowering beliefs I’ve had is that of hard work. I’ve always believed that with hard work anything is possible. Conversely, one of the most disastrous beliefs I have is that of money. Likewise, I believed that in order to have lots of money, I’ve got to work hard and earn it.

It seems rather odd but a belief in one context can be empowering, while in another context can turn out to be disempowering. How does that work? Can it be only correct in one context and flawed in another? Could it be that both contexts are accurate? Or could it be that both contexts are flawed?

The answer is yes, yes, and yes.

Where Do Beliefs Come From?
To uncover this strange phenomenon, we have to examine where do these beliefs come from. And I think it comes from the 3Es: environment, education, and encounters.

Encounters
The key difference between an encounter and an experience is that with an experience, your life gets disrupted for a while and then it goes back to normal. For instance, after spending some time in a foreign country, you may pick up the accent, the slang, and the mannerisms. But once you return to your home country, you’d very soon revert. However, an encounter is different. It is a moment in which you go through and life will never be the same again. Sometimes it could be an encounter we have in life that cause us to form certain beliefs.

Education
While I would not dispute the merits of education, what I find quite troubling is the way it could shape your beliefs. In economics, for instance, we believe (or assume) that there is scarcity in resources. While that is true, it could also affect our willingness to share. As a result, those beliefs can lead to rather devastating effects and impacts.

Environment
Depending on the influence of your families and friends, they could also have a huge impact on your beliefs. As an example, I grew up with my dad working long hours and many times even on weekends and public holidays. And I’ve always been reminded to study hard to reciprocate my dad’s efforts in working hard. Naturally with that kind of environment, it is no surprise that I would grow up thinking that to earn lots of money, I’ve got to work hard.

Lies, Lies, All Lies
That said, the truth is that these are all lies, lies, lies. These beliefs are ingrained in my mind but until I am first aware of it and then seek out to shake these limiting beliefs, I would be stuck with it for a long time to come.

To shake these limiting beliefs, one just have to ask the question of: what examples could you find to nullify these beliefs? And there are! For instance, hard work to earn money could be replaced with earning money through passive income in an ethical and legitimate setting. Resources are scarce could be replaced with ideas are always in abundant.

Therefore, the point of the matter is that even deeply ingrained beliefs can be shaken! In other words, some of these beliefs that we have, unless it is grounded in God’s decree, can be shaken, shattered, and smashed.

Unshaken
Only God’s decree will remain unshaken forever.

Prayer
Father, thank You for shaking us up, in ways that free us from the shackles of these limiting beliefs. We look to anchor our lives based on your precepts so that we will firm and strong and with integrity. In Jesus name, Amen.