Convince me to believe…REALLY???


By Kenneth Justice

~ Last week at coffee a forty-something mother and her 17ish daughter were sitting next to me. Their conversation kept spilling over to my table and from what I gathered the daughter was lobbying to go away to college…..on the other side of the country, and the mother wanted her to stay in-state where the two parents could keep a closer eye on her,

But mother! I’m going to be eighteen years old, it’s time you trust me and let me be an adult” said the young woman.

I don’t know the girl or the mother, so I really don’t have much of an opinion on the whole situation. What stood out to me after I left the coffee house was that it’s really difficult to get people to believe;

—-) A friend of mine who cheated on her husband is still married, but he struggles with believing her all the time now. He often wonders if she is lying to him about where she has been and what she is doing.

—-) When people find out that I believe in God, I almost inevitably get the question, “So Kenneth, convince me why I should believe in god

—-) Politicians run on platforms asking us to believe their promises, and so often it is difficult to trust what they say to be true

Sometimes belief has to do with trust. Merely learning to trust someone is a big part of friendships and intimate relationships. My Uncle Bob always told me, “Kenneth, trust is something earned, it’s not a gift you can freely give to others”. Perhaps there are exceptions to what my Uncle Bob said, but for the most part I suspect that it applies in many different situations.

But not all belief is about trust. Sometimes, belief is merely something you arrive at against all odds. Sometimes believing in something or someone defies all logic and sensibilities. Sometimes believing has less to do with trust, and more to do with our hearts; it is like a little seed that is planted, and merely needs the right environment of sunshine and rain in order to sprout up from the ground.

Our Western minds have a tendency to want everything put together in neat little packages. Unfortunately we are organic beings, and dare I say spiritual beings; and who we are as human beings means that things are often going to be rather messy. Our lives are not going to reflect The Andy Griffith Show. More often than not, our lives are going to be a chaotic bubble of emotions, thoughts, and reflections that send us spiraling into a great many avenues…..and that is okay.

As Blatant Neon Ion says, “Nobody who is great, was ever perfect”, then again, perhaps there was one person……

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,


Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

21 replies

  1. I think for me I always start out with pretty blind trust, but then if someone breaks that trust it is hard to rebuild it.

  2. “So … convince me …” To which I always think: “Why?”

    Seems to me too often we spend an inordinate amount of time maintaining our current walls of belief in case they start to crumble. Unless you “give me belief”, why should I dismantle my protective comfort zone and have to rebuild it with something new? Give me a ready made replacement and I am hot to trot!!

    Belief is not something “I give you”, it must be something your find yourself. Nice post KJ! Thank you.

  3. I’ve often connected believing with loyalty. With that loyalty comes some friendship, and outside of it lay some loneliness. I think some people want to be convinced, so they can give up the lonely place, but the lonely place comes with its own perks – like a total lack of responsibility to anything or anyone but one’s self, you don’t need to trust anyone if you are your only responsibility. There is a way in which believing (in Christ) is to sacrifice one’s own autonomy.

  4. As it says in the Gospel according to Mark: “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” We may want to believe but often it is difficult, we need help to believe.
    As to the mother with daughter wanting to go out of the state to study – distance won’t make much difference, the daughter could be just around the corner and doing things that would make her parent’s hair stand on end if they knew. If they know her, and trust her judgement, and if they keep strong lines of communication open, she will be fine wherever she goes.

  5. Good stuff!

  6. Do you mean Jesus Christ is the only One who is great and perfect?


  7. As it says in the Gospel According to Louie, “People believe all kinds of unbelievable stuff.” I got a great bridge to sell you. Trust me.

  8. I like this… thoughtful, quiet, rings true to my experience of this whole thing.
    Best and Blessings,

  9. Something I notice that strikes me as odd about our modern society, belief denotes I-dentity and identity is now the beginning and end of all things. People ask me the strangest questions like, “do you believe in composting?” Sometimes I feel like saying, “well no, I believe decomposition is an elaborate hoax,” but of course they aren’t asking me if I believe in composting at all, but rather trying to ascertain my identity. What tribe do you belong to? The Prius driving vegan club? Rabid right wing regressive?

    Sometimes it seems as if we’re trying to develop this very rigid social structure that’s very tribal and very territorial. I worry about it, because it’s a bit too much like drawing lines in the sand.

  10. I think it is fantastic that other people think enough of you to ask you why you believe.

  11. Hmm reminds me of something Insanitybytes wrote, about seeking ‘proof’ for everything.

    So we believe because we can. Because like a poster above said, we want to get out of that lonely place. We want to be a part of something…..anything. And if we don’t believe then we aren’t really there yet.

    Trust has always been a big issue for me, except of course trusting God. But then I’m learning to trust someone who could be a significant other.

  12. “My Uncle Bob always told me, ‘Kenneth, trust is something earned, it’s not a gift you can freely give to other'”. I disagree with Uncle Bob…kind of. I agree if we are talking about trusting someone with money or something major, but trusting people to be honest, for instance, is something I believe we should give freely. That is just my opinion though. 😛

  13. People will not be convinced against their will therefore, unless someone is on the fence, fact/reason exchange will only cause anger and resentment. Better to just live in disagreeable harmony, no?

  14. “Sometimes, belief is merely something you arrive at against all odds”.
    I would call this ‘faith’.

  15. Like with those parents with the college student, “believing” often means letting go of control. For the opposite of love is really fear. Real love only functions in an environment of freedom, which includes believing in someone even if that person is not trustworthy.

  16. What is with the idea that Jesus is perfect anyways? Over half his life is unaccounted for, and even what is mentioned doesn’t line up perfectly (claims of Godliness as well as avoiding claims of Godliness, for example).

    Then again, there are Jesus followers that devoutly trust in conservative politicians that seek to strike down against portions of humanity rather than raise them up. Tribal-style trust can come too easily.

  17. I would like to add that most of our beliefs are base on our culture or tradition. It is not because we trust the tradition, but it is the “logical” way of believing.

    Btw, once again, I agree to your Uncle Bob, trust is something earned. 🙂

    Great post! This made me think. 🙂

  18. Maybe trust is something you earn, maybe belief is what goes beyond based on an internal (organic, as you said) connection, at the end though, there must be something, we can call it “knowing”… When truth and your inner self resonate in an absolute harmony.

    Have a Blessed Day!

  19. Perfect is what’s natural. I like imperfection.
    Enjoy your wine with turkey!!! Tmw 😄

  20. When I was a teacher I always told my high school students. “I will trust you to tell me the truth, but if you ever lie to me I’ll never be able to trust you again.”

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