Religious beliefs and the reasons behind them are very personal matters, and different people are likely to offer varying accounts and testimonies of faith. Belief in God is central to many people’s lives and, for them, requires no evidence, only trust in the Divine. Faith in the Deity is intuitive and reflects the desire of a person to better themselves and their community and lead their lives righteously and justly.
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Self-improvement is a vital component of the belief in Divine power. The Bible encourages people to change and grow in order to become better versions of themselves and positively impact their community and all those with whom they cross paths. In Ephesians 4:22-28, it is stated that the path of righteousness is to “put off your old self” to be renewed into a new self after the likeness of God (“Ephesians 4 – Unity in the Body of Christ,” 2020). Research in psychology supports the idea that most religious people are highly self-enhancers and exhibit a strong desire to view themselves positively (Mercier et al., 2018). Thus, to believe in God is to believe in the possibility of positive change in oneself and others.
Furthermore, religion provides a moral guide for self-enhancement and assists people in their journey of improvement. Faith is intertwined with morality, with the Bible providing guidance for leading a moral life. The Holy Book does not ask people to rely on faith alone but to supplement it with virtue, knowledge, self-control, devotion to self and others, righteousness, and brotherly affection (“2 Peter 1,” 2020). Regardless of their differences, all religions ask their followers to conduct themselves in a virtuous manner within the frameworks for personal behavior provided to them in their respective Holy texts (Huda et al., 2019). Therefore, one of the reasons to believe in God is to seek moral guidance and values that can help govern our lives. In my opinion, it is a highly compelling reason, and I choose to be a person of faith and follow the moral teachings of the Bible to better myself and positively impact my community. I believe that this self-improvement is impossible without religion’s moral beacon.
It should also be acknowledged that religion is a source of great comfort and hope. However, it does not serve to make people feel better but to grant them a deeper understanding of the nature of the universe. Through trust in God and the Divine plan, people of faith are granted the sense of calm that can only arise from being privy to the ultimate truth. The comfort of religion contributes to people being more in control of their emotions, and it can be argued that this quality is vital in the modern world. According to Huda et al. (2019), trust in God and the moral teachings of religion lead to people being skilled at self-regulation and acting consistently with their values. Meanwhile, these skills are necessary for a person’s emotional health and well-being (Huda et al., 2019). Thus, a reason to believe in the Divine is to master emotional steadiness.
In summary, being a person of faith or subscribing to atheistic doctrines is a deeply personal choice. Religion provides people with moral guidance, opportunities for self-improvement, and, therefore, emotional well-being and stability. I would argue that faith allows people to better understand themselves and the world around them. In addition, it also contributes to the people improving themselves and, consequentially, their communities through moral, calm, and just behavior.
2 Peter 1. (2020). Bible Gateway.
Ephesians 4 – Unity in the Body of Christ. (2020). Bible Gateway.
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Huda, M., Sudrajat, A., Muhamat, R., Mat Teh, K. S., & Jalal, B. (2019). Strengthening divine values for self-regulation in religiosity: Insights from Tawakkul (trust in god). International Journal of Ethics and Systems, 35(3), 1–22.
Mercier, B., Kramer, S. R., & Shariff, A. F. (2018). Belief in God: Why people believe, and why they don’t. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(4), 263–268.