What we believe about ourselves (or about others) leads to actions. If we believe that we have no value, we are likely to feel hopeless and do very little with our life. If we believe that someone is manipulative, we are likely to feel angry toward them and go into the fight or flight response. What we believe ultimately determines the outcome of our life. The book of Proverbs says it this way, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Being diligent about what we believe is so critical that we are told to stand guard. This implies that there are forces that would want to come into our heart, our thoughts, our beliefs and cause us to change. Of course, some change is for good and other times not so much, which is why we are to be alert and to stand guard.
None of us have perfect beliefs. Even as Christ followers we can have incorrect belief systems that ultimately ruins lives. Belief leads to actions and actions ultimately determines our life.
In our work at Orchard: Africa we find ourselves working amongst varied belief systems. Often times those living in generational poverty have come to believe that they are inferior or undeserving. This belief ultimately leads to inaction. Why try anything new if you are inferior and incapable? Part of our task, our work, our calling is to change belief systems first before we can change actions. All our training courses are infused with messages of acceptance, encouragement and belief in the person’s worth. Our first task is to help people see themselves as God sees them – as valuable and worthy of investing in. When people come to see that God believes in them and that you, our partners, believe in them, it is easier for them to change what they believe about themselves. This first step of changing belief systems is a huge breakthrough and a vital step toward sustainable development.
Our task at Orchard: Africa (you, our donors, our volunteers, our staff, all of us that make up the Orchard family) is to ensure that the Church cares for the vulnerable of our world. This requires that we meet physical needs such as hunger, but it also requires that we help people to guard their hearts because from it flow the issues of life.