There are 3 elements of belief that overlap and interact to form what we generally refer to as ‘faith’.
I am fascinated with how these layers stack up and both empower the other layers but also limit the options of each other.
The 3 elements are:
- narratives (story)
- practices (action)
- relationships (connection)
Narratives are powerful because the stories that we tell ourselves – or the stories that we are told and buy in to – frame our actions and give direction to our relationships.
Each of us live in a story.
Practices are important because ideas don’t just remain ‘theories’, they translate into actions, habits, and ultimately practices. Some of these are intentional, others are by default. Regardless, they reinforce the story that we live into and they connect us with others who become our community.
Relationships are vital because we are essentially (and fundamentally) social creatures. There is not one aspect of human existence that isn’t relational. We are born into a family of origin, and even the words we use to form our own thoughts are given to us. In fact, who we are connected to defines us as much as anything else and determines what we are allowed to believe or not allowed to believe.
- Our stories frame our experiences and inspire our actions.
- Our practices em/body and en/act our beliefs and ideas.
- Our relationships connect us to a web of meaning and creates community.
It is the interplay between these 3 elements and specifically the spot where they overlap that has become my fascination.
Here is a short video – let me know your thoughts.
The reason that I call it the ‘trinity’ of belief is because each of the 3 elements can correspond to a ‘person’ in the Christian trinity: the story of God (the Bible is primarily narrative), Christian practices are founded in the incarnation and embodies presence, the Spirit is how we all connect to one another (community).