faith, belief, confidence, conviction,
credence, credibility, credit, dependence,
reliance, faith experience, trust.
Spirithome.com > Spiritual Word Meanings > Faith and Trust
Faith indicates persistent action, devotion, and direction of self, and is often charged with emotion. When there is faith within someone, they become faithful, and when they have faith in someone, that loyalty can grow into a covenant. In the Hebrew Scriptures, this is the meaning of Heb. 'emunah. 'Emunah is also used to describe the covenant of marriage, as what the husband and wife have in each other. Faith can grow stronger or become weaker, changing with each situation. Life eventually puts it to the test.
Here are some other words which cover much of the same turf as faith. In what ways do these words describe how you are toward God, or toward the gospel message?
Assurance is a confidence or sureness that is not rooted in your intellect. It usually comes about because of the action of someone else.
'belief' vs. 'faith' :
Certainty is not a form of faith, but of knowledge, based on demonstrable evidence which is so strong that it can be fairly labeled 'proof'.
Confidence suggests less emotional intensity (or, at least, a much less visible intensity); it implies stronger grounds for assurance.
Conviction is a strongly-held belief or idea on spiritual or moral matters. It is something that often grows out of life experiences and hard thinking or meditation. For Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his convictions were expressed as a 'yes' to what God had in store for him, knowing full well that it could (and did) lead him to death at the hands of the Nazis.
In credence, the mind accepts and agrees to it, implying nothing about the grounds of proof.
Credibility happens when something or someone shows itself to be worthy of belief. It's given to a movement or person whose report or action stands up to hard thinking and/or discernment. It is something given by others, not grabbed through one's own actions.
If someone claims what they are doing is "God's move", that's a claim which may or may not be true. Discern whether this is so. If that person then says, "get in line with it, or be damned", then they are making a command. That's usually not theirs to do, and it is not God's way of doing things in a world after Christ rose. Their claim has no basis for credibility. If it were one of those few occasions when a command comes, God grants a sense of authority even non-believers and enemies can sense, and has built it into the character of the leaders God chooses.
Credit is a 'yes' of the mind on indirect grounds, such as the trustworthiness of the source. It is best used as a factor in a decision, not the basis of it.
Dependence suggests reliance on the help or support of someone else. It infers that without such help, the task at hand could be accomplished only with great difficulty, if at all. It also infers that the 'someone else' is of higher rank or esteem.
Reliance indicates a confident and trustful commitment toward another. If you're someone who runs a business or ministry, somewhere along the way you'll delegate responsibility to someone else for some important task. You are relying on them -- which doesn't make you an inferior, just someone wise enough to leave the task in the hands of someone better at it. Reliance on others can free your time to do what is yours to do. Reliance on God is trusting the real and original source of ability to get something done, more reliable than you are.
'Trust': see below.
We are not made right before God because of faith, but through faith.
Justifying or saving faith is how one enters into a right relationship with God, thanks to what Jesus did by dying for us.
You can also check the dictionary for these words.
Also check out this blog interview with Greg Boyd of Woodland Hills Church, on the role of doubt in faith.
faith experience : a conscious encounter with God himself or with an action of God, initiated by God, and having observable results in the lives of individuals and communities.
What Is Trust?
'Trust' indicates a depth and a sense of assurance that is based on strong but not logically-conclusive evidence, and/or based on the character, ability, or truth shown by someone or something over time or across situations. You can trust someone to do good or to do bad, based on the evidence and track record. You trust someone who brings a quality of insight, wisdom, and usefulness to what they do. Or, just a minimum of bull in an environment full of it. Trust makes for a sense of being safe or of being free from fear, enough so your focus can be on other matters because that matter is taken care of. It becomes easier to simply enjoy life. Trust breeds confidence and conviction. Misplaced trust is the work of confidence-men and convicts.
No human is totally trustworthy.
Trust is a risk. We leave ourselves open for loss. Betrayal of trust hurts so much because the lost sense of security multiplies the damage.
When trust breaks down in a society, people become afraid. This can lead to silence, or to living in a way that diverts one's attention from the lack of trust, or leads to squelching inventiveness and creativity. A society can live and breathe again once people can start trusting each other, as people and as the core institutions that bear a collective (or national) identity.
How To Build Trust
As Martin Buber put it, "One can believe that God is and live in his back; he who trusts him lives in his face." (in *Two Types of Faith*).
Search this site, or other sites, for more on these terms.
|ver.: 02 July 2014|
Faith and Trust. copyright © 1999-2014 by Robert Longman.