Faith vs. presumption

Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how.

Faith is confidence that is rooted in one's knowledge of the truth. The concept of faith is rooted in the understanding that what I do today will affect what happens tomorrow.

Although I may not see how, faith is acting according to good character today with the confidence that doing so will yield the best outcome tomorrow.

Faith is confident about tomorrow's outcomes only to the degree that faith is confident in the truths upon which decisions are based. Rather than making decisions based on presumption or self-willed stubbornness, faith is making confident decisions based on truth.

The measure of one's faith is not in words alone, but in whether your confidence is firm enough to stake something on it.

This was the measure of Samuel Morse's faith, as well. One evening in 1832, on board the Atlantic liner Sully, Morse, a 41-year-old portrait artist was having dinner with several men. They were discussing the discoveries of recent scientists in the field of electromagnetism. One man made the point that electricity could be conveyed instantaneously along a circuit of great lengths and detected at any point along the circuit.

Morse immediately recognized the implications of this principle and replied, "If the presence of electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit, I see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted instantaneously by electricity."

Pacing the deck of the Sully later that night, Morse visualized a communications device that used electricity. On a scrap of paper he made the first sketches of what would soon become the consuming focus of his energies: the invention of the telegraph. For years, he tested his equipment and consulted with experts to ensure that he was not pursuing a fleeting dream. On May 24, 1844, Morse sat down at a telegraph key in Washington, D.C., and tapped out his first telegraph message.

Morse had faith that his telegraph would work because he designed it based on true principles of electricity.

Faith is proved when a person acts on what he believes. Faith is not just in words; it is confidence expressed both in word and in deed.

At home, talk to your children about the need to recognize potential, even in small things, and to visualize the end results.

Brought to you by the Four Corners Character Council. Character First! definitions and information used by permission. Copyright Character Training Institute

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