Faith is often misunderstood and under appreciated.
And by faith, I don’t necessarily mean religion.
Everything we do in this world requires a degree of faith.
Some things, like sitting on a chair, require little faith because all the past data shows it will most likely hold up. But even a chair has been known to break.
Conversely, believing in a higher power requires a great deal of faith because much of its premise has little data to back it up.
Which means most people look at the data, see the small degree of certainty and choose to avoid placing faith in the worldview.
But many people have a great deal of data as to why it’s a good choice.
You need faith when starting a business, when finding a partner or spouse, when deciding to have a baby, and when choosing how to raise them.
You need it to drive a car, fly in a plane, start a band, get a degree in medicine, and choose a diet or exercise routine.
Nothing is certain. The closest is death. But seeing how we don’t have the whole picture, that could very well be uncertain too.
Faith is merely looking at the data you currently have and making a decision based on your experiences with the data and those particular choices.
With that in mind you typically choose the side that has a higher degree of certainty
The problem is, your choice is made subjectively even as you strive to decide objectively.
Someone may choose religion because the data of their life shows a higher degree of certainty that a higher power exists. The same goes for someone who rejects it.
Now someone will call the choice of being religious irrational, while they also start up a business that everyone has told them is doomed to fail.
The data, however, tells this same man who can’t understand why someone would be religious that he should start this business.
He doesn’t care that the same data tells others starting this business would be the single most stupid idea of his life. And in spite of everything, his business succeeds.
My takeaway: I am not a god. Therefore I can not, no matter how hard I try, have the whole picture.
Divine teachings, like any education, can have a positive or negative benefit in your life if you let them. They can also guide you in ways that non-spiritual teachings can’t.
All you need to do is test them out and review the data of your experiment.
I do know religious people, being only human after all and strikingly imperfect, can vastly distort those lessons. They can do the same with any lesson, divine or not. But that doesn’t dilute the usefulness of the lesson when I apply it.
Disclaimer: I have faith that these ideas are more right than wrong at the moment I wrote them based on the data I had. There is a very real chance I could be wrong. I’m simply interpreting the data I have the only way I can.