Can someone know what they believe in

How do I know that I believe?

Faith is a way of life

Religious knowledge can be learned by heart, but belief is a way of life. It has to do with seeing yourself and your own life as a gift, and also with the self-critical insight that your own strengths and possibilities are limited. Religious knowledge and belief are as different as head and heart, mind and psyche. Or transferred to the university subjects: such as religious studies and theology.

How do I know that I believe?

Everyone can only answer that for themselves. But there are counter-indicators: Do I see my life only as the result of my achievements, strategies, skills? The desire to rule over other people or to control everything hardly fits the religious insight that one owes oneself to others - people and God. Or the refusal to help other people: It too allows doubts that one is aware of one's own need for help and imperfection, that very religious insight.

Belief from experience

The peculiar thing about faith is that you can only judge it if you have gotten into it and experienced it. However, this is something different from the experimental experience of science and technology. There, what counts as real is what can be reproduced and repeated in experiments as often as desired. Experiments in this sense are useless when it comes to belief.

The answer to the question, "How do I know that I believe?" Is paradoxical. It reads: If you believe, you will know, feel. If you have the experience that you are valued for your own sake, you don't have to be told and proven every day, you don't have to make yourself important, ask for attention and compliments. You don't have to constantly justify yourself, prove your self-worth anew.

Faith, like other areas of life, needs experience. Many of our innermost experiences can be scientifically analyzed but not explained. Psychologists look for instincts, educators for basic trust, neurologists for brain waves, historians for traditions that shape and determine us. But that doesn't explain everything.

Trust in life

It's similar to love. How do you know that you love and are loved? Is it because hormone levels and heart rate reach certain measured values? How do you know that life is a success? Is it because working hours, car class, dividend payments and tax refunds are all right? Hormones, lumen values ​​and dividends can inspire happiness and life security, but they cannot explain them.

And the belief? The big difference is actually very small. It is the willingness to see oneself as cared for, as protected. It also has to do with confidence in life. “Don't worry about anything, but bring your requests to God at all times, praying and pleading with thanks. And the peace of God, which exceeds all comprehension (!), Will keep your hearts and your thoughts in communion with Christ Jesus. ”A successful summary by the biblical author Paul (Philippians 4: 4-7).

The writer Rolf Schneider (1903-1958) read only a few chapters of the Bible and stormed out into the cold Potsdam night. “This book is a life force,” he wrote, it turns life around. But he also remarked: Only those who believe can understand faith.

Source: chrismon March 2017, Eduard Kopp