Faith, from a Christian point of view, means to accept the truth of something despite any lack of evidence. It does not mean believing or hoping something is true. It is accepting it to be true. Keep in mind that Christian faith does not come from something internal. To a Christian, faith is God given. Because of the fallen nature of man he is hostile to God (Calvin calls this total depravity) and only God can overcome this nature of disobedience to God's will by giving man the gift of grace. One of the benefits of grace is faith. From a Christian perspective a believer does not choose God, God chooses him.Perhaps its because I don't believe in a religion, so when I think of "having faith in something", to me it means "I hope, fear, or believe that I may be right about something that I can't prove." It is a hunch, a feeling. It may be based on experience, observation and interpretation, or merely an understanding of the way things tend to go, but it's not cold, hard, indisputable fact.
From the perspective of faith I do know that there is an undertow. It has nothing to do with pride or anything of that nature. Because of my faith in the existence of the undertow and the character that God has created in me, I am obligated to at least warn you. After that the choice is yours. You can either jump in and possibly drown or you can accept my advice and take the proper precautions. From my perspective I have fulfilled my role by warning you. This example neither shows pride nor humility. It is simply the obligation a Christian has. I would be remiss if I didn't help you. This behavior doesn't just confine itself to spreading the Gospel. I should offer my assistance to anyone who needs help and I can provide that help. Before I came to believe I could not care less about helping anyone but part of the change God brought about in me was to be concerned about others and to help in whatever way I could. This is part of Christian humility, to put the needs of others ahead of your own.When you talk about KNOWING that there is an undercurrent and the person will need a life preserver, that is, to me, faith bolstered by pride into a certainty when in fact it is a belief, an unprovable hunch or feeling. You don't know, for a fact, that there is an undertow there, you are taking it on faith. And when I speak of faith here, it's not limited to religion, secular people fall into the same trap... IMO, it is little different from anthropogenic global warming alarmists who believe with absolute certainty that they are right, and they have "evidence" to back them up. But IMO, their pride magnifies that belief, in their minds, into incontrovertible fact. If they had more humility, they'd realize that it is only a belief, not a proven fact, that they espouse.
From your earlier post concerning taking pride in your work and your family, you seem to have confused pride with satisfaction. If you do a good job at work and you know it and are recognized for the good job I belief that you have every right to be satisfied with your performance. If, however, you move from colleague to colleague pointing out what a good job you've done with the intention of bolstering you self-esteem then you are guilty of the sin of pride. You are putting yourself above another for the sake of ego enhancement. Humility, on the other hand, is accepting the recognition of you work and sincerely being content with doing good work for the benefit of those you work for. Likewise if you hold your family above others families and consider that you and yours are better than them then you are guilty of pride. If you are merely happy that you have a nice family and they make you feel good then you are being humble.
Last edited by FlaGator; 07-30-2008 at 08:17 PM.
Piety or the religious aspect of humility. You know some of the thought as silly and insignificant aspects of Christianity in practice. Stand up , sit down, cross your heart. fold your hands in prayer etc etc etc. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Though faith comes good works.
Things are complicated only because we mere mortals make them so in our word,thought & deed.
"There But for the Grace of God go I"
Last edited by Zeus; 07-30-2008 at 06:01 PM.
It is a characteristic of a person and you are correct in that the secular and the Christian can both be humble. Humility, however, is not a path or a philosophy that a Christian follows. It is not something to be worked for or obtained through work. To describe it as a path is more of a eastern philosophical idea practiced by Buddhists and Hindus. In the language of the Christian faith it is considered a 'fruit of the Spirit'. A regenerate person is at some point given a humble nature as a gift of God. Christ stated "by their fruits you shall know them" and humility was one of a collection of behaviors that identified someone as a believer.
All those terms mean something in a secular context but the meaning is not identical to the Christian definition or to a Buddhist or pagan definition.
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