For some time, I’ve had a potential blog post ruminating in my head about the phrase, “I believe in you.“ I’ve heard people summarize their Christianity by saying, “I believe in God.” The use of the word believe is passive and requires no relationship. It’s simply acknowledging someone’s existence. I believe Barack Obama exists, but we have no relationship. He doesn’t even know I exist. If you were to ask him if I existed, he’d have no reason to believe I didn’t. We have no relationship, so whether he believes I do or not means nothing to either of us.
But the active use of the word, believing in someone, is very powerful. It derives from having a relationship with someone. Knowing their character. Knowing their potential. As I’m currently unemployed, passively believing in God does nothing for my attitude or faith. But actively believing in God’s sovereignty and power does. It compels me to press in. It motivates me to dig in to His promises.
Yesterday, my friend Lisa commented on my post with these four simple words, “I believe in you.” That served to propel me beyond simply thinking of these words, to sharing with you what they mean to me. Then, doing what I can to live up to them. These words are empowering.
There is almost nothing more tragic than unfulfilled potential. This is why we react so strongly when we hear of the death or disability of a young child. We think of all the things in life they should have experienced, but they never will. I look back on my life and see many things which were left undone. That doesn’t mean they must remain undone. When someone says they believe in you, you can almost feel yourself lean forward, set your jaw, and plow onward.
My life and my future are defined by this statement: Not only do I believe in God, but more importantly, God believes in me.