So then faith cometh by hearing … — Paul
How did you come about your view of the world? I can tell you it came by most of the stories you heard. Those stories coloured your perspective and you saw life through those lenses. What you hear and give yourself to plants the seeds of what you do next.
Faith comes by hearing. Fear comes by hearing. Doubt comes by hearing.
A child grows up in the ghetto and all he wants is to be the next kingpin. He’s heard stories of how the lords of the ghetto roll. He’s heard that even the police can’t touch them. One story leads to the other and then many stories confirm what he’s been told.
Deep down he wants to be a lord of the ghetto because of what he has heard. He’s heard of the fear these lords inspire in people and he has seen it. That tops it. The faith to become a ghetto lord came by hearing.
Let’s take another example. I grew up to hear how terrible Nigerian politicians are. If you ever dabble in anything political, you are deemed evil. Generally, in Nigeria, it is corporately believed that anyone venturing into politics is diabolical, fetish, corrupt and he is there only for himself. We call it “stomach infrastructure” — meaning, you are there to feed fat on government funds.
Young fellas grow up and they want nothing to do with politics. Their faith has been built over the years by what they have heard … politics is evil. So, our best and brightest leave government and governance to those they will not even employ if given the chance.
The God-kind of faith also comes in the same way. Let’s listen to Paul again.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. — Romans 10:17
In effect, Paul is saying that if you want faith in anything it first comes by hearing. I have demonstrated that in the first two examples of this write-up. But if you want to develop and build the God-kind of faith, then you have to listen to something different — The Word of God.
Let me say it again … Paul is saying that if you want faith, the God-kind of faith then you have to “hear the word of God”. It has to fill your heart. You have to be in an atmosphere where the Word of God is revered, honoured and obeyed. Then your faith in God will be built. This is the first principle. It is the building block.
- If you want to do well in school, you hang around those who talk daily about school work.
- If you want to be successful, then you must listen to the words of the successful.
- If you want to know how to steal, you hang around those who are good at it (experts) and hear their tales of adventure.
What you hear is very important. It either injects faith or fear into you. No information leaves you the same. Be careful what you hear. Choose what you listen to because they will form the basis of things that you believe and do.
Whatsoever you want to have faith in, keep listening, keep hearing and there you go …
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life — Solomon