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October 9th, 2009 by Mitch Albom

Have a Little Faith

The following inspirational post is from a good friend of mine, Mitch Albom. Mitch is the bestselling author of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” and he recently wrote “Have a Little Faith.” His dedication to the good people of Detroit is evident in his generous support of programs such as I Am My Brother’s Keeper Ministry and S.A.Y. Detroit Family Health Clinic. Please enjoy.

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Mitch Albom and Rabbi Albert Lewis

Ten years ago, if you had asked me about faith, I would have bitten my lip. It was one of those taboo subjects. Keep it to yourself. Don’t reveal too much. Especially if all you have to say about it is cynical.

It’s not that I lost my faith. It’s just that I had wandered away from it. I was healthy. Work was going well. I figured God goes his way, I go mine, we have a truce of sorts. Besides, when I thought about organized religion, I tended to focus on the scandals. The hypocrisy. The bad headlines.

Then, as often happens in life, something random happened. I was giving a speech in my old hometown. A clergyman came to see me. He was 82 now. My family had belonged to his congregation since I was a child, and since I’d never joined another congregation, he was pretty much the only clergyman I’d called my own.

He pulled me aside. He smiled gently. And he asked me the strangest question.

“Will you do my eulogy?”

That began a journey that spanned nine years, a journey that ultimately took me back to, all around, and deeply into faith. As someone who hardly felt worthy of doing a eulogy for the man who does eulogies, I insisted on getting to know this white-haired, smiling, wise old man on a personal level. One visit led to another. One month led to a year. He lived until he was 90, by which point, I was finally prepared to do his eulogy, but not at all prepared for him to die.

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Mitch Albom and Pastor Henry P. Covington

At the same time, I was working with the homeless in my current home, Detroit, when I came upon a church that was old, magnificent and falling apart. Homeless men slept on its floor and ate in its kitchen. Its pastor was a large man named Henry Covington, who had once been a thief and a convict, but had turned his life around on a night he thought he would be murdered. Twenty years later, he had traded in the high and dangerous life of a drug dealer and now lived in deep poverty as a pastor, his church saddled with a giant hole in its roof through which rain and snow fell during services.

And over time, through multiple visits, I came to know him as well. And although he couldn’t have been more different than my clergyman — one black, one white, one inner city, one suburban, one Christian, one Jewish — I found what they had in common, and what comforted them in their struggles, was faith. Real faith. Not religious scandal faith. Not hypocrisy faith. Quiet faith.

The kind that made my clergyman believe that despite his decaying body, there was a heaven waiting for him. The kind that led Pastor Covington to believe that despite his decaying church, God would not abandon his congregation.

Slowly, quietly, through righteous behavior — not through lectures and finger wagging — these two men brought me back to a place where faith could be a part of my daily life.

I remember sitting with my wise old clergyman once and hearing a baby scream. He looked at me and said, “Did you ever notice how babies come into the world with their tiny fists clenched?”

Yes, I said.

“Do you know how our sages explain that? They say that babies, not knowing any better, clench their fists because they think they can have everything.”

He smiled. “But now, look at me, an old man. How am I going to die?”

He opened his hands wide.

“Like this,” he said. “Why?”

“Why?” I repeated.

“Because as an old man I know, you take nothing with you.”

That really hit me. Because the difference between his two examples, between a young child thinking he can have everything and an old man knowing he can take nothing, is the gap for which only faith will fill us.

When material possessions mean nothing, when job success, status, accomplishments, homes, bank accounts, envy of your peers, when all that means nothing, you realize the only thing you truly have here on earth that may serve you once you’re gone is your faith, your belief in something larger than yourself.

I was lucky to have two very different men teach me that in hundreds of little ways. And I’ve come to believe faith is something that can pull us together, rather than rip us apart.

This is the story of my new book, the true story, Have A Little Faith. Dr. Phil was kind enough to tape a show with me recently about it. I thank him for the rare and wonderful opportunity to share the events with him — and his audience — and I hope whatever situation you find yourself in, a little faith will help make it better.

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80 Responses to “Have a Little Faith”

  1. dee Fraser says:

    Dr. Phil;
    I was sitting here watching your program this afternoon which was dealing with differances in religions between couples. You made a comment while talking with the couple about your not knowing what belief or religion God was, or why there are so much pain and suffering in the world. Not a quote from you but, this was generally what I preceived you said or meant.
    The answers to this is really very simple. Please, will you take out your Bible and turn to Matthew chapter 24 verse 3 :- [While he was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him (Jesus) privately, saying: "Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?"] Hear the disciples were asking Jesus to explain to them when he would be coming back. They knew he was going to be killed soon and they believed in the resurrection of the dead and also believed he would be resurrected and would be coming back to vindicate his Fathers name and claim the Earth back from Satan the Devil. In answer Jesus gave them many signs to watch for. As you read on in the 24th chapter of Matthew it tells you of some of the signs Jesus said to look for.
    But, I want to refer you to just a few. Reading verse 7 Jesus said this, [ "For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. 8 All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.] Think back Dr. Phil, ” When did Nation rise against Nation, or Kingdom against Kingdom??? {Kingdom meaning Governments} that happened in 1914. ”World War ONE ”and when that happened Jesus said that was the ‘Beginning of pangs of distress’.
    Now lets turn our Bible to Revelation, (last Bible book) and read Revelation chapter 12 verses 7-12,

    [ And war broke out in heaven: Mi′cha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven say:"Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! ...12 On this account be glad, YOU heavens and YOU who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to YOU, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time."]
    And that my friend, is why we are having so much pain and suffering, because Satan is ruling the earth and is doing so with great vengence cause as the Bible said in verse 12 ‘He knows he has only a short time left before he is distroyed along with his demons and all of mankind who support him.
    Jesus said at John 3:16-18 ["For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent forth his Son into the world, not for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him. 18 He that exercises faith in him is not to be judged. He that does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.] and going on to chapter 17 verses 3-6 Jesus said this in a prayer to his Father [ This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ. 4 I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do. 5 So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.6 "I have made your name manifest to the men you gave me out of the world.] Please read the whole prayer, as I am only siteing a few verses… verses 14-19 goes on to say… [ ''I have given your word to them, but the world has hated them, because they are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.15 "I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one. 16 They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. 17 Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me forth into the world, I also sent them forth into the world. 19 And I am sanctifying myself in their behalf, that they also may be sanctified by means of truth.'']
    Jesus was no part of the world that was in his day, he kept himself free from political and government affairs along with worldly goings on that wasn’t concerning his Fathers purpose. And so do his followers keep themselves free from the world and its affairs as Jesus said they would parish with Satan and his demons and all those who allow themselves to be tied up in worldly affairs.
    Jesus came to Earth for 2 reasons: (1) to give his life, the shedding of his blood as Ransom for humankinds Adamic sins. Plus, to make his Fathers name known to all humankind and preach the ”GOOD NEWS of GOD’S KINGDOM” Matthew 24:14 says [''And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.'']
    The whole Bible thyme is based on the Good News of God’s Kingdom. anyone not taking in knowledge of God and Jesus and preaching the Good News of God’s Kingdom will be found judged and share the same fate as Satan.
    Dr. Phil…. saying I am being irratical won’t stop God’s Kingdom from coming to cleanse the Earth of wickedness and do away with Satan. the Preaching of God’s Kingdom is almost complete, the signs that Jesus said to which for are here visible to see… Read 2 timothy 3: 1-5 [''But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. 6 For from these arise those men who slyly work their way into households and lead as their captives weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, 7 always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.] your dealing with this daily on your show…
    Revelation 12:7-12 explains why! God is not responsible for what is happening here on Earth at this time. from ’suffering to death’ Satan is the god of this system of things You can find this truth at John 14:30 which says [''I shall not speak much with YOU anymore, for the ruler of the world is coming. And he has no hold on me,''] also at 1John 5:19 says [We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the [power of the] wicked one.”] also John 18:36 which reads [''Jesus answered: "My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source''] This is when Jesus was speaking to Pilate who had the authority to have Jesus killed. He was making it very clear that he was not affiliated with the world of that day. James 4:4 says this [''...do YOU not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God'']
    I do hope you will read this with a seriously open mind and please read the scriptures above and below. I have just quoted scripture that is relavent to what I was talking about. I am using the New World Translation of the Bible. I find it easier to read. One more Scripture to inlighten you Psalms 83:18
    [" That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth.''] Feel free to go to http://www.watchtower.org there’s a useable Bible on line there too in many languages. dee

  2. Sandra says:

    Mitches story about the old man with open fists and the baby with clenched fists was poignant, Here is Jesus illustration, contrast is that there is a promise for ones that put spiritual intersts first.

    15 Then he said to them: “Keep YOUR eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness, because even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” 16 With that he spoke an illustration to them, saying: “The land of a certain rich man produced well. 17 Consequently he began reasoning within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, now that I have nowhere to gather my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my storehouses and build bigger ones, and there I will gather all my grain and all my good things; 19 and I will say to my soul: “Soul, you have many good things laid up for many
    years; take your ease, eat, drink, enjoy yourself.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Unreasonable one, this night they are demanding your soul from you. Who, then, is to have the things you stored up?’ 21 So it goes with the man that lays up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”

    22 Then he said to his disciples: “On this account I say to YOU, Quit being anxious about YOUR souls as to what YOU will eat or about YOUR bodies as to what YOU will wear. 23 For the soul is worth more than food and the body than clothing. 24 Mark well that the ravens neither sow seed nor reap, and they have neither barn nor storehouse, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more worth are YOU than birds? 25 Who of YOU by being anxious can add a cubit to his life span? 26 If, therefore, YOU cannot do the least thing, why be anxious about the remaining things? 27 Mark well how the lilies grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell YOU, Not even Sol´o·mon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. 28 If, now, God thus clothes the vegetation in the field that today exists and tomorrow is cast into an oven, how much rather will he clothe YOU, YOU with little faith! 29 So quit seeking what YOU might eat and what YOU might drink, and quit being in anxious suspense; 30 for all these are the things the nations of the world are eagerly pursuing, but YOUR Father knows YOU need these things. 31 Nevertheless, seek continually his kingdom, and these things will be added to YOU.

  3. Lorraine Ryan says:

    Ironically Dr. Phil, I was just preparing to interpret tomorrow’s service (for the hearing impaired) which is about the exact thing this article is about. I need to take this article and tomorrow’s sermon about contentment to heart. I was supposed to be on your show when you were on the east coast, but there was no room to fit in my question. I thought that God must not have an answer for me. He might still though. As I prepare to get pregnant again after losing my infant daughter, I keep lifting up others in prayer. If God will bless me with a child that is healthy, I will be ecstatic. If not, I figure I was prepared the first time two years ago to deal with any issues related to my child that arose. I guess I’ll have to do the same again. I’m not sure how God will end up answering my prayers, but I’m never going to stop praying to Him. He’s my God, and I submit my life to His will. Now if I could just get my fears under control through this process of trying to get pregnant. I hope that maybe there will be a chance to ask you my question directly. Thanks for listening Dr. Phil (and staff)!!! This article was a blessing!
    Lorraine Ryan

  4. judy says:

    dr phil thanks for your Faith stories having been a born again,spirit filled christian for over 40 year i found your show good and one of the best ones so far i agree on what wa sais . i had a husband who didn’t go to church with me either because he also didn’t think he needed god in his life as a result of different lifestyle we were divorced. not the only reason but a big one . it is important for both parents to have the same beliefs. those do not acept Christ as their personal Savior will go to hell Bible says so thanks for the show all of us must come to their own salvation through Jesus Christ you nor i can force them we must pray for them

  5. Sandra says:

    Judy

    THOSE who teach that hell is a place of torment promote a gross misrepresentation of God and his qualities. Granted, the Bible does say that God will destroy the wicked. (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9) But righteous anger is not God’s dominant quality.
    God is not malicious or vindictive. He even asks: “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” (Ezekiel 18:23, King James Version) If God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, how could he for all eternity delight in watching these ones being tormented?
    God’s preeminent quality is love. (1 John 4:8) Indeed, “the LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” (Psalm 145:9, The Holy Bible—New International Version) In return, God wants us to develop heartfelt love for him.—Matthew 22:35-38
    Jesus spoke in way of illustrations and often used things common to the custome of the day.
    Therefore, Jesus used the Valley of Hinnom, or Gehenna, as a fitting symbol of death without hope of a resurrection. He drove this point home when he warned that God “can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” (Matthew 10:28, NAB) Gehenna is a symbol of eternal death, not eternal torture

    I have a hard time believing Dr. Phil is comfortable with the teaching of Hell fire. No common sense person could.
    For more information on this http://www.watchtower.org/e/20020715/article_02.htm

  6. Dr. Phil,

    I very much commend you for your attempt on your show, Have a Little Faith, at tackling the issue of two spouses of two different faiths.

    On this subject, I have stumbled on an extremely enlightening author, Lee STROBEL, who wrote several books:

    - Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary
    - Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage

    and other so well written and easy to read books, such as:
    - The Case for Christ
    - The Case for a Creator
    - The Case for Faith
    Etc…

    Educated at Yale Law School, a former Journalist, Lee Strober is a former atheist. His wife’s decision to follow Jesus created conflicts in his marriage. He is now a teaching pastor at Saddleback Valley Community Church. His books, Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary, and, Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch are insight into his spiritual journey within his own marriage.

    Those books are so down to earth, written with 2009 every day words everyone can understand, not preachy, not judgemental, simple and so compelling. And so powerful! Reading those books revived my pride in my faith in God, and taught me how to put my faith into words, and explain it in a manner understandable to each and every one.

    I do not know him, I have no connection to him, I am not advertising for him. Not my style. I love to read and can recognize value and worth.

    This is an author you should have on your show, Dr. Phil. Please read those books and decide for yourself.

    I enjoy your shows.

    Christine Taigla
    Toronto, Canada

  7. Julia says:

    Dr phil, It was good to hear someone that have the guts to talk about Faith, and God on their show. My comment about the woman and her husband having different belief, not different faith Eph 4:5 -6 Said there is one Lord one faith baptism,One God one father of all who is above all.

    A Jew is a Jew that can’t be change the bible said that God is no respect of person every on must come to him through his son Jesus Christ. Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of person with God weather you are a Jew or Gentile God will judge you the same. Paul said in Rom 2: 16 When God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

    What is the gospel?
    1 Cor 15:1 Paul said I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you which you also have received, and where in you stand.
    By which in you are save,if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.This is the gospel it is so simple.people think that it is hard to be save or live save.It you truly want to change your life and except Christ as your savior this is all you have to do with an honest heart,God knows your heart.

    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. And that he was buried,and that he rose again the third day according to the scripture.
    If you don’t believed
    this then you are on your way to hell.
    Jesus said in Joh 14: 6 I am the way, the truth and life no man come unto the Father but by me. The only sin that will keep any body from going to heaven is unbelief. Because you don’t have faith in God, so you call him a lair

  8. Sharon Hamilton says:

    Dr Phil, Today (Oct 18, 2009) I watched your (taped) show from Friday the 16th. I’ve always enjoyed your show and my husband and I have quite a debate over some of your issues. Having always known that your a Christian, I really appreciate your expressing your believes on TV. Your answer to how you & Robin raised your boys was a GREAT explaination that I think should be in taught in all Christian homes.
    Also Coach Broyles’ first hand experience with alzheimer was great. How can I get a copy of his book as it sounds like it is not in book stores? I am a court appointed guardian of an 87 year-old lady who is in a care facility. A sense of humor is a great way we handle her and I am learning to not rush her!! What an experience it has been working with her even if I don’t have her immediate care responsibilities.

    Thanks Dr Phil for your shows.

    Sharon Hamilton

  9. Susan says:

    To Julia (10/18, 10:09am),

    Personally, I find comments like yours toward those who choose to believe differently, whether it is in the Jewish faith or in my case NO faith at all to be rather arrogant and condescending. I am referring to your statement that “if you don’t believe, you are on your way to hell,” in case you were wondering.

    You have a right to believe whatever you choose, thanks to the freedom of conscience given to all Americans provided in the first words of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Why do you find it necessary to try and intimidate people into “believing” by using threats of hell or a deity’s displeasure toward all who believe differently from you?

    Thomas Jefferson once said this: “…But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    In modern English, that means that another person’s NON-belief, or a different religious belief, doesn’t affect YOUR life in any way. So your attempts to frighten people into believing is not only unnecessary, it is also counterproductive, since no one is preventing you from practicing your own faith or attending your chosen church.

  10. FosterBoys says:

    Julia,

    Unless you ARE a Jew, we would prefer to be called “Jewish”. Sure, it might seem hypocritical, but given your tone, it’s especially relevant.

  11. Kristin says:

    Please help us! Just a reach out so I know you are getting this would help. My husband beats up on me everyday and last night was no different. I want to see my children grow up and have children of there own. I know if I have to stay here that will not happen. I do have some faith but it is going away. I have been in one bad relationship after another but this relationship is different I married him and his children. I cant call the police he takes the phone and when ihave gotten to the phone and called I got beat up after they left because I imbarrssed him. My children deserve better. I derseve better. Please contact me threw email or phone. Please

  12. Kathy Austin says:

    I was very moved by the show you did “Have A Little Faith.” It is by FAR the best show you have done in awhile. The shows you did “on location” were great too.
    I have to say that I am sick and tired of the “Dr. Phil family” though. They have gotten more attention and exposure than anyone you’ve ever had on. Other people exist. Other people have problems. Get them some help, (other than you), and move on.

  13. Sandra says:

    Homelessness is a an overwhelming worldwide problem in which there seems to be no solution.
    We all who have a heart as obviously Dr. Phil does, just feels helpless.

  14. Carol Hart says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    First, thank you for all you do.
    You can always play the what if game. Yes, you could’ve done more but deep down you probably knew most homeless people do not want help. There is exceptions, of course. I was thinking she might be trying to commit suicide or she was testing God. You were her angel that day.
    We do need help for mentally challenged people. Medicare only covers 50%. Other Ins. have a limit for help. It seems to me it is an illness and should be treated and covered the same as an M.D. visit.
    Love ya!

  15. JANET HALL says:

    DR,PHIL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CHANGING SO MANY PEOPLE’S LIVE’S. THANK GOD FOR YOU . AND GOD BLESS YOU AN YOUR FAMILY.WE KEEP YOU IN OUR PRAYERS EVERY DAY. GOD BLESS.

  16. When Jesus walked the earth his story was one of love. Who did he reach out to the most? the poor. In america one of the richest countries in the world I wonder if you are as truely loving as this?

  17. Lisa says:

    I would just like to add a line for the FAITH show, EVERY Business that is successful is very well Organized and so therefor a religion that is Organized will prove successful, also if everyone is going to heaven than there would be no reason for a resserection that the bible clearly speaks of, and also the bible tells us at Psalms 37:11 But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth. And they will indeed find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. So my question to you is…..Presently there isnt peace on the earth, so obviously this scripture is prophesying that in the future there will be, can you deny that there will be people resurrected to an earthly paradise as God planned for us in the beginning when he created Adam and Eve? His purpose for the earth has never changed and it tells us in the bible That we will have exquisite delight in the ABUNDANCE of PEACE here on the earth! How much clearer does this have to be for people to understand that not all people go to heaven. Personally I want to play with animals in paradise with my children as it tells us in the bible that we will! I hope you read this and take to Heart the scriptures, You are so smart and have so much words of wisdom for people but the best advise I can give you is through the word of God and hope you can use your power of reason to understand what I have just written you. Thank you for your time!

  18. Sandra says:

    I have been reading most of the posts here on the show on Faith and what I must say I find surprising is that no one found Dr. Phils comment on not knowing in which religion God could be found (not exact quote) especially as he says he has a relationship with Jesus Christ, also surprising that there were ones that were happy that he was of their religious faith in light of that comment. This is not critisism, but so common today.

    Most people who profess religious faith give little thought to why they believe what they do or to whether there is a reasonable basis for their faith. It is no wonder that religion has become a topic that many are reluctant to talk about.
    Concerning the situation in North America, one religion writer said: “Christianity . . . tends to be superficial, [and] its adherents are poorly educated in the faith.” A pollster even went so far as to describe the United States as “a nation of biblical illiterates.” To be fair, these observations would also be true of other countries where so-called Christianity prevails. Many non-Christian religions likewise discourage reasoning and instead emphasize chants, ritualistic prayers, and various forms of meditation that involve mysticism, just have faith and be saved, rather than logical, constructive thinking.

    Yet, in their everyday life, the same people who give little thought to the accuracy or truthfulness of their religious beliefs often think other matters through very carefully. Does it not strike you as odd that the person who does extensive research just to buy a car—which one day will end up on the scrap heap—would say regarding his religion, ‘If it was good enough for my parents, it’s good enough for me’?

    If we are truly interested in pleasing God, should we not consider seriously the accuracy of what we believe about him? The apostle Paul spoke of certain religious people of his day who had “a zeal for God; but not according to accurate knowledge.” (Romans 10:2) Such ones could be compared to a hired painter who works hard to paint a house but uses the wrong colors because he fails to listen to the owner’s instructions. The painter may be pleased with his work, but would it be acceptable to the owner?

    What is acceptable to God regarding true worship? The Bible answers: “This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, whose will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3, 4) Some may feel that it is impossible to find such knowledge among the many religions of today. But think—if it is God’s will that people should come to an accurate knowledge of truth, would he unfairly conceal it from them? Not according to the Bible, which says: “If you search for [God], he will let himself be found by you.”—1 Chronicles 28

    Dr. Phil can tell it like it is, I hope he can also take it like it is. I will know this if this post is not deleted by moderators.

  19. kim says:

    Dr Phil

    I commend you on your show about faith and find it refreshing for someone in the public eye, as are you, to talk openly about their faith.

    As a Christian I did find it disheartening that you supported the idea of “many ways to God” . While I do agree that we cannot put limits on God and it’s not our place to judge; I do believe that there is an absolute truth and that is the truth of Jesus Christ being God’s son and our savior and that it is only thru belief and surrender to him that we can have a relationship with God.
    Having said that, I can empathize with the wife who was on your show wanting her husband to join her in her Christian faith. I do believe that she is approaching it in the wrong manner and that her love for him and her life would be the example that may win him in the long run. I do feel that she needed to be encouraged to take a different approach but to say that there are many roads to God, I just don’t believe is the truth.
    I do admire and respect you a great deal and love the work you do on your show.
    Thank you again for speaking openly of your faith and the way you raised your children

  20. Vicki says:

    Dear People ~

    Love your neighbour. Show them respect. Then tend to your own gardens.

    What matters is that people HAVE faith whether it is in religion or mankind. God (for me this includes everything; Allah or Buddha or Yahweh or our higher power or whatever each person calls it) gave us the freedom of thought and choice so that we may exercise those gifts and abilities.

    For me, what matters is understanding. Personally, my admiration is in the simple act of faith, even if it’s a faith that there is no God (et al).

    faith
    n.
    1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
    2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
    3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one’s supporters.
    4. often Faith Christianity ~ The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will.
    5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
    6. A set of principles or beliefs.

    Who are we to judge? That is God’s (et al) job, not ours.

    Enjoy your faith, whatever it may be. I applaud you in your simple act of holding out your arms, palms open and fully embracing your beliefs.

    Vicki
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  21. Vicki says:

    PS ~ Gut instinct must be included in that et al list of Godly names.

  22. Janet Davies says:

    “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

    God Bless! : )

  23. Pixie Nolin says:

    Dr. Phil,
    My heart went out to the woman who was afraid that she and her husband may not have eternity together if he didn’t accept Christ.

    Through my entire marriage, I asked God to open my husband’s heart to accept Christ. My husband was an agnostic.

    When he died unexpectedly, my greatest pain next to losing him was the question, “Did he accept Christ?”

    I searched The Bible, I prayed and prayed, I cried out to God to please let me know. Then the epiphany.

    Since God loves each of us so much that He gave His son to redeem us, I seriously doubt that He would give up without a fight.

    I don’t know yet, but I believe that God would keep calling His loved ones until there was no more chance. Perhaps at the very last nanosecond, God’s love won my husband’s heart.

    If God has chosen someone then we can be sure that person will accept Christ. How do we know if He’s chosen a certain person? By their fruits, ye shall know them.

    Although my husband was agnostic, he was such a good human being. Those traits that he possessed don’t come from anyone but God. My husband bore the fruits and in that, I find the comfort that God never gave up. He accomplished what He began in my husband.

    The Bible often says “You and your family” shall be saved. Time and time again we see that when one person accepts Christ, other’s in the family also eventually follow. God knows that and that’s probably why we’re told “You and your family”.

    I hope that woman finds the same comfort in God’s love. Tell her to just pray and not nag. God knows what He’s doing and it’ll work out in His time.
    Thanks for reading this…………..Pixie

  24. Stephanie says:

    I’m not a believer but don’t label myself an atheist or any other ist either. I think a friend of mine said it best @ 15 years ago when I asked her “ann, is there a heaven, gawd, and all that?” She replied “No, I don’t think so, but I do hope I’m wrong”
    If the god I was raised to believe in at church and in Sunday school was the same as the one most alledged christians seem to suck up to, it would be a nice world. Most of the things we were taught in Sunday school are good things to follow. Add a little common sense and be a champion to children. Tell them when they do well, and let them know HOW TO FIX IT when they go astray. My parents weren’t perfect parents, far from it. but I always knew where I stood with them and that the world was mine as long as I worked hard, studied hard, and was fair to others.

    Why is that so difficult these days? So no, I don’t believe in a god, but I do believe in the good we can do for one another. Forgiveness is key, but not without learning. Life has consquences, but for heaven’s sake give people a break when YOU KNOW that THEY KNOW that they need your support.

    Cheers!
    Stephanie

  25. ncsmith says:

    I find it interesting that people have a hard time with Christian faith and not any other faith. Jesus warned us about it. My stance is the truth is the truth whether we believe it or not. I grew up with a little bit of church but found myself in the occult. As I heard various opinions of who was right and which was right I made it personal and took a stance with God and my heart was desperately seeking truth and not what I’ve heard from man. Got tired of everyone else’s veiw.

    I only wanted truth. Long story short though my testimony is fairly long is that God is faithful and He answered. He didn’t answer through others He answered me personally. God will do that He will meet us where we are at and if our heart truly desires. He doesn’t look for lip service He looks for the heart and motive behind it. I share that for those who consider themselves atheist, agnostic, and even those who believe there are many ways. If it was out there I pretty much dabbled in most and found no value in any of the other things out there. I felt Christians were hyppocritcal and so forth but I was no different I was being a hyppocrite by judging them when I myself was being just as sinful as I claimed others to be.

    So yes it is ok to question God if you are looking for an answer and this article proves that God will touch us in a way that will make us rethink our views on Him. Is Jesus the only way, absolutely yes, are there Christians who’ve given poor examples yes, are good deeds enough no, but I will share this deal with the root behind why it makes you so angry, so doubtful, so whatever to accept that truth because the issue isn’t wheter there is a God, the issue isn’t whether is Jesus the only way, the issue isn’t being Christian the issue is what is in our hearts that keep us from wanting to accept the truth.

    Is it because we don’t want the accountability? We don’t want someone to confront us of our sinful behavior? We want to live our life as we choose (God allows that) without paying consequences (He allows us to reap what we sow)? Do we only want feel good love and no consequences involved? We live that way long enough. We see it today if someone commits adultery a family is torn apart, if someone in a family has an addiction or disease it affects the whole family. If we understand that in the natural sense why do we have trouble understanding it in the greater picture sense? God holds us accountable and His love is not just a feel good do as you please love and you don’t have to worry there are no consequnces to your actions.

    Ok didn’t mean to get on a pulpit here my goal is faith is important and God gives us many chances to come to the knowledge of Him, if we want to know the truth He will surely help us to find it and find Him in that truth but we have to open our hearts and minds to that truth and settle for nothing less, not what feels good and sounds good at that time.

    My prayer is that for those who hunger for that that God will answer you and you won’t get caught up in the religious debate but that you seek to find out who God really is and may you accept the truth and find peace in knowing it and knowing Him.

  26. Cathy Harris says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,

    Did you really say “if you don’t believe, then you will go to hell” as one person posted? It doesn’t sound like something you would say, but I wondered if it is something you believe?

    Thank you,
    Cathy Harris

  27. Sandra says:

    No Dr. Phil did not say that anyone would go to hell, I believe he is too smart for that even if he believes that.
    I wrote a response to a few other comments made in reference to them saying that God would burn people in hell if they don’t beleive.
    Read my post if you like written on oct17,10:33

  28. sharon says:

    Dear Phil,

    I just wanted to request if you & Robin would please remember me in prayer again tonight, or when you see this if you do, if that’s ok? Something bad happened this afternoon that I really can’t wrap my brain around and has left me feeling more pain and a bit traumatized in my heart. I’ve been hanging in there for awhile but quite honestly, I feel like giving up on any good corners right now. There’s no safe place for me in the world and I’m feeling very sad and like I’m some kind of plague. I don’t want to lose my faith but I’m so discouraged, and at a loss, so maybe you guys could pray that I don’t lose it. Thank you and God bless you all.

    sharon

    P.S. Sorry, I’m a little behind (but have been called worse) but congratulations to you and your family on the revelation of soon having a new granddaughter.

    P.S. Again. I applaud you for what you said to Alex about being someone who loves her no matter what too. I was waiting for someone influential in her life to say that to her so God bless you for that too. It made me cry when you talked about how you know someone is loyal and real etc in your life and reminded me of when I wrote my friend, who left me, a song to encourage him in 2007 that said the same thing. At least it was one thing I did right. Thanks for when you’ve been there for me with your prayers and care, so I guess I’ll show ya this too:

    I WILL BE THERE

    Just wanted you to know should you ever need a friend
    That I will be there for you
    And if you have a day when nothing goes your way
    You’ll always have someone who’s still loving you
    I may not know all that you’re going through
    But I will be there should the world turn its back on you
    Just whisper my name, that’s all ya gotta do
    And I will be there for you

    Chorus
    I will be there for you, I will be there for you
    When you’re feelin’ down, you know that I’ll be around
    And I will come in when the whole world goes out
    I will be there for you, I will be there for you
    My Baby, should no one else care
    Still I will be there

    2nd verse
    I hope you’ll always know that you can count on me
    And I will be there for you
    When the world’s on your back and you’re feelin’ attacked
    My love will always try to make it up to you
    And when you’re not treated the way you deserve
    With my heart you are safe and can always be sure
    When I hear you call my name, the moment that ya do
    I will be there for you

    Chorus
    I will be there for you, I will be there for you
    When you’re feelin’ down, you know that I’ll be around
    And I will come in when the whole world goes out
    I will be there for you, I will be there for you
    My Baby, should no one else care
    Still I will be there
    I promise, should no one else care
    Still I will be there

  29. Kristi S says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I strayed from “religion” (per se) for several years due to the guilt that was apparent in my household. However, after several abusive relationships, health crises, and serendipity, I began to believe that God was speaking to me. He was Jesus to me. Yet, he may be Muhammed to someone else. I believe in a spiritual relationship with Jesus. However, it does pain me in so many ways to see individuals have to live their lives in guilt and shame because they are not following the ways bestowed upon them at birth, etc. We are all of one faith and your wife’s book meant so much to me at the most difficult time in my life. In fact, each one of your shows dealing with abuse and the aftermath has healed me. Those shows seem to air at the time when I need them. That is simple faith and I thank you both for allowing this 31-year old female who graduated summa cum laude but who is now unemployed and unsure how I am going to pay for each loan payment to finally have hope again. I wish I had known about abuse and the effects. Likewise, I wish I had known that you can try to help others but you can’t fix them. As you always say, three years and one day is too long. Thank you and God bless!!!

  30. Clair Helgeson says:

    I absolutely love your books and reading what you have to say! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I can only hope that you will continue the good work!

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