We don’t believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true.

Dallas Willard

I remember a time I had a talk with my non-Christian dad to illustrate this very principle. I remember asking him whether he believed in God.

He responded, “of course I believe in God.”

I then said, “I don’t think you believe in God.

“I said I believe in God, I believe in God,” he responded.

I asked him, “You believe in gravity right?”

“Yes, I do”

I proceeded, “Then if you believe in gravity, you wouldn’t walk off of cliff right?”


“Well to be honest with you dad, based on the way you live your life, I can honestly assess that you don’t believe in God. Your belief in gravity leads you to not walk off a cliff. If you believed in God, you would live differently. In fact, you don’t believe in God.”

I said this not to shame my dad, but to illustrate something: that belief is tested in our actions, not in our words.