“He is no fool to give up that which he can not keep to gain that which he can not lose.”
This was said by a man who gave up everything he had just for what he believed in. He believed in helping others. He believed in telling others about Jesus. He sold all of his possessions just to go to Panama to understand the Acua Indians and to teach them about his belief. This man’s name was Jim Elliot.
You might be asking yourself, “Why did he do that? Why would he give up his whole life, sell everything he had to go tell somebody about Jesus?” Here’s why, because he believed in it. He believed in God, and he wasn’t ashamed to tell people about it. He wasn’t embarrassed or afraid. He was willing to give it all away, just for his belief.
When I think about that, about Jim Elliot and what he did for his belief, I am in awe. Could I tell people what I believe in? Would I have the guts and be willing to give up everything for my one belief? These are all the questions that come to mind when I think about my belief.
Sometimes it’s hard to make known what we believe in. Why is that? Maybe we’re afraid. Afraid of what others will think of us, embarrassed to show the kind of person we really are. Maybe we don’t know who we really are and we’re afraid to find out. Whatever the reason is for not knowing or understanding your belief, we do know it comes down to one little thing. Fear.
Why are we afraid? Now that’s a personal question that you’ll just have to ask yourself when the time comes. My time to ask myself that question came right when the student teacher of my 9th grade English class asked us what we believed in.
Truthfully, at first I had no idea what my biggest belief was in. We started doing activities to help us figure it out. We had done about a million activities and still I had no idea what I believed in. Yeah I had little beliefs here and there, but not a big belief. Not a belief that I could actually say out loud and be proud of, a belief that I wasn’t afraid of telling others about.
Then on Wednesday night I figured what my belief was. I was in youth class at my church and my youth paster was talking about a man named Jim Elliot. As he told the story, I finally realized what I believed in. I was so happy and excited that I finally got it.
Then another problem came up. Could I tell people my belief? Would I be ashamed or afraid of it? The answer to those questions are no. I’m not ashamed or afraid of what people will think about me.
What is my belief then? I believe in what Jim Elliot was all about. I believe in believing so much in something that you’re willing to give up everything that you have for your belief. I believe in God and I believe that with Him all things are possible.
Jim Elliot came so close to telling the Acua Indians about Jesus and came so close to being friendly with them, when he lost contact with his friends and family in the U.S. His wife, Elizabeth Elliot, went down to Panama to see if she could find him. She found out that the Acua Indians had speared her husband to death.
Elizabeth Elliot then went on and finished her husband’s work. She became friendly with the Acua Indians and finally told them about Jesus. She told them about how through Christ all things are possible.
Elizabeth Elliot could’ve just turned around given up once she figure out about her husbands belief, but she didn’t. She wasn’t afraid of what was going to happen to her. She believed in herself and in God, and that’s all that mattered. Her belief made her strong. That’s why I believe what I believe…it makes me strong.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.