The Right Question

Doing something a little different in these next few blogs. Gonna use the 2011 movie “Moneyball” as a spring-board, a way for us to dive right into the topic. My suggestion is that you watch the brief video clip first (at the bottom) and then come back to the devotional. It will help set the tone for the rest of the blog. You don’t need to have seen the movie to appreciate the message…

Do you believe in this thing or not?”

At this point in the movie the main character, Billy Beane, is faced with a pressing decision. In the first half of the movie he has been desperately attempting to reinvent the traditional approach to building a successful baseball team. Unable to compete with the big-market teams he has developed a system for reassigning value to individual players. A few months into the new season has produced no viable results. The team is floundering. And Billy is struggling with his initial vision. Traditional wisdom says that he start over, hit the reset button, and go back to what wasn’t working in the past. But then he poses one simple question to his assistant.

Do you believe in this thing or not?”

Excellent question. And one that certainly deserves an honest answer. Particularly as it relates to the whole issue of personal faith. See, the truth is that I have met so many “Christians” over the years who know the right answer. In fact, they are probably thinking to themselves right now, “Why is he even asking the question? Duh… the answer is obvious.” But is it? Too often we have become like Pavlov’s dogs. Ask a Christian a certain question and they will instinctively give you the “right” answer. Doesn’t mean they necessarily believe it. And it certainly doesn’t mean they are living it.

Do you believe in this thing or not?”

Sometimes life can hinge on the simplest of questions. I think that is especially true with regard to our faith. The truth is that we have a lot of “profession” but there is a real disconnect when it comes to “practice.” Real belief always impacts the way we live. Doesn’t mean you become perfect and that all sin becomes a distant memory. But it does mean there is a real change, a viable transformation, a marked difference in conduct, conversation, and character. If I truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior who died for my sin, and the risen Lord, then every area of my life will be impacted by that conscious awareness. Real belief impacts behavior. If it doesn’t, then it’s not real belief.

Do you believe in this thing or not?”

And so, I ask us all the same question. Do we believe in this thing or not? Is our faith something real, something vibrant, something that touches every area our lives? Or is our faith merely just one more item that we don on our way to the weekly Sunday morning get together? It’s high time that we began living according to our profession. A lost and dying world is in desperate need of a Church that passionately loves Jesus and truly believes His Word is the standard for daily living. Far too often we vacillate in our convictions. Far too often we waver in our faith. Far too often we compromise what we believe. If we really believe in this thing called Christianity, then WE NEED TO LIVE IT!!!

In the movie Billy Beane would go on to bank everything against his belief. His career. His family. His reputation. His very future. Did it work? Let me ask another question. How many people have a movie made about their lives starring Brad Pitt? Hmmm…. yeah, guess it worked out in the end. But at the time it was a difficult, gut-wrenching, soul-shaking choice. One man was willing to risk everything on what he believed to be true. My friends, if the world can do that for a temporary reward, what keeps us from doing the same with regard to our own beliefs?

Do you believe in this thing or not?”