Measuring belief by constraint

How do you know what you believe?

The best heuristic I’ve come up with this: You believe something if your life is constrained by it. This includes your actions, decisions, thoughts… basically what you have control over. Like a guard rail, if you intersect the boundary of one of your beliefs, an invisible force will reign you in and prevent you from trespassing. You are constrained by your belief.

I don’t claim this is the only or best way to measure belief, but I think it works to a point. Thinking about belief this way has been both encouraging and disconcerting. It has revealed some interesting insights, including things I want to believe but don’t, as well as things I do believe but frankly wish I didn’t.

By the way, this doesn’t just apply to spiritual beliefs–it works just as well for everything else.