your family and changing your beliefs

"Changing Your Beliefs" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Changing Your Beliefs” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

[Do you like this cartoon? Buy a print for just $20 HERE.]

The other day I told someone who was going through a change in their beliefs that I experienced it in stages.

  • The first step was me. Interior. I changed my mind.
  • The second step was letting those who really love me know. Like my wife Lisa and my kids.
  • The third step was people I thought supported me, like friends and acquaintances.
  • The fourth step was family.
  • The fifth step was the world.

The most difficult steps, socially, were with friends and family. My change disrupted many friendships and acquaintances. It also confused many of my family members. Family is difficult because they’ve known you from the beginning. They have a very specifically shaped idea of who you are. Like a mold. It’s hard to break out of that.

I know many people who will totally understand this cartoon. They feel demonized by their families, totally misunderstood, and under unbearable pressure to conform to their families’ expectations of them and come back into the fold.

Change is not an easy thing to do. Being true to yourself is costly. There are consequences. But it is better to live with integrity and a clear conscience than spend the rest of our lives pleasing others.

Hey! We talk about this stuff a lot in our online community, The Lasting Supper. You just might find the support you’ve been looking for. Please join us. I’m sure you’ll love it.

SHOP

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6 Responses

  1. Alison says:

    Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier (or maybe I mean, simpler, or CLEARER) to just navigate a total walking away from faith, instead of a very specific changing of faith and remaining in faith, but having a very, very significant shift in what you believe and how you live it out, because family and friends will carry on like nothing’s changed, but EVERYTHING has changed, even within faith. Do you know what I mean?

  2. Dave says:

    I like the idea Alison. It would save a lot of explanations (especially to family). One barrier to this is the human need to put everything in buckets. We even want to do this to ourselves, at least sometimes. So no matter what you walk away from, you almost have to be walking towards something. I fall on the side of “atheism is as much of a belief system as any religion” so even becoming a diehard atheist doesn’t help with this.

    Not sure if this is making and sense at all.

  3. Alison says:

    Thanks for the reply. I don’t have plans of walking away from faith, but I will say that it is an interesting journey to walk through a change of faith but still holding to something within a traditional framework (generally) and yet all the rooms have been rearranged and renovated inside, yet everyone thinks it’s still the same house. It is…. yet somehow extremely different.

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    “… But it is better to live with integrity and a clear conscience than spend the rest of our lives pleasing others.”

    So well put. The issues of integrity, conscience, and others, is not avoided by the Bible. In fact, it is well discussed in the latter part of Romans. The issue is one of freedom.

    Yet many families are about power (who is in control), status (who will be called Sir or Ma’am), and peer-approval (My giving-of-approval shall be used to manipulate your need for My approval). The issue is one of conformity.

  5. Cathy Pascal says:

    This is a brilliant cartoon and I can totally relate to feeling like this at family meals. But the boot’s on the other foot: my family is atheist and I have just become a member of the clergy (Church of England, in the liberal catholic tradition). One sister in particular was almost in tears when telling me how much I’ve let her down by doing what I am. However, I feel that I am at last doing what I was meant to do, however hard it may be sometimes.

  6. Yes it works both ways, doesn’t it?

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