Salvation, Commitment and Grace

I am interested in what we think about when we become committed to a belief that is foundational to our life? How much of our commitment to that foundational belief is experienced in our everyday lives? I have done some reading regarding commitment based on a foundational belief, and how it is demonstrated in the lives of the average person and I discovered there is a distinct difference between being an advocate of something and a witness to it. That is also true of how we express our commitment to a foundational belief that we hold dearly.

The main difference is that when one is fully committed to a belief that person gives their life to it, and that belief serves as the basis of their worldview and life's work, in one way or another. In doing so, they become a witness to their belief in their daily lives.

However, if one is an advocate, that person publicly supports and recommends that others take on their belief and promote it like a spokesperson would. Though this is an important and valuable way of lifting awareness of one's belief, it does not necessarily mean that person has given their life with full commitment to that belief. Yet, if that person becomes a witness to their belief, they will have life experiences connecting them to it, and examples of the work they have done to further their belief, which goes along with their words of advocacy.

I uncovered a nicely worded bit of religious wisdom about how being a witness who is fully committed to a belief versus only being an advocate might be illustrated.

"A rabbi and a soap maker went for a walk together. The soap maker said, 'What good is religion? Look at all the trouble and misery of the world after thousands of years of teaching about goodness, truth, and peace, after all the prayers, sermons and teachings. If religion is good and true, why should this be?'

The rabbi said nothing. They continued walking until he noted a child playing in the gutter. Then the rabbi said, 'Look at that child. You say that soap makes people clean, but see the dirt on that youngster. Of what good is soap? With all the soap in the world, the child is still filthy. I wonder how effective soap is after all.' The soap maker protested. 'But rabbi, soap can't do any good unless it is used.'

'Exactly,' replied the rabbi. 'So, it is with Judaism or any other religion. It is ineffective unless it is applied and used.'"
(Rabbinic Wisdom and Jewish Values, William Silverman)

For a biblical example of a man who demonstrated his belief in God please read Luke 19:1-10 and consider the encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus. See if there is any evidence of Zacchaeus being a witness who is fully committed as opposed to simply being an advocate for his belief in God.

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