Please forgive the terrible drawing and photograph.
Belief is not a doctrine; it demands expression. People can see what we believe based on how we live our lives. If I believe, as my drawing shows, that I am worthless, I bear the fruit of insecurity. If I believe that I need to work for everything in life, my life is filled with competition, dissatisfaction, emptiness. If I believe that everything is justifiable in the end, I will be reckless in my ambition as I try to prove my worth.
Beliefs take root in our hearts because of who and what we listen to. Society tells us that we must love ourselves for who we are, but also that we are only lovable if we have some kind of visible talent/worth in the form of success. Sometimes family may tell us to pursue both success and God. Our experiences may make us jaded about the world, or falsely believe that we deserve everything we think we earned. Friends often contradict with what our mentors/leaders or the Bible may say, as friends may be thinking on a more short-term satisfaction plan, whereas our leaders or the Bible consider the long-term, how we should live our lives in the context of eternity.
When I ground myself in all the wrong things, when I start to make up beliefs about the world that are unbiblical, I lead myself onto a self-destructive path. Being lord over my own life is ineffective at best, at worst self-destructive, leading to death on all levels as I recklessly try to pursue anything and everything to satisfy a longing I cannot ignore. This exercise in charting out my beliefs, what they’re rooted in and the fruit they bear, seemed to produce mostly negative fruit. There is no good in me, especially none that others can see, when I live apart from God. Only when we plant ourselves next to the abundant river of life, the word of God, will we flourish and bear the fruit we were meant to bear – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11:25-26]