Faith is power “Negative or Positive” – You choose

Dad, I don’t have any place to stay. They kicked me out… I’ve lost my job again. I’ve been in IHOP now for 5 hours waiting for someone to come get me. I don’t have any more money. Dad, you have to come get me, now!” pled Amy.

Amy was a 20 year-old “prodigal daughter” in a nearby state. Dad believed as he has for the past few years, “She needs my help. Honestly, she can’t do this on her own. This is way too hard for her… Why, she can’t even get out of bed on time!…” The father booked the next flight to go help Amy.

As a psychologist I’ve spent my life reading, studying and applying techniques of how to change another person’s behavior. I’m going to share one of the most powerful tools to influence another’s behavior.

FAITHing– is the power resulting from how you believe in another person. This power can be “negative” or “positive.” It is measured by how you interact with that person.

You may have heard Henry Ford’s saying: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” My version

Whether you think THEY can or you think THEY can’t –you are right.”

In the case of Amy, the dad was unfortunately FAITHing to strengthen a negative image of his daughter. Sure Amy had plenty of “issues” but one of the most damaging one was  father’s negative faith. His “negative belief” strengthened Amy in her low self-confidence and her inability to change her addictions and “riotous living”. What Amy “needed” was her dad to positive “faith” her not his checkbook!

 When you change the direction of your believe in a loved-one, you can change their lives.

There are at least two “forces” at work when you are FAITHing.

Force 1: The learning associated with the loved-one experiencing consequences
Do not interfere with consequence that belong to a loved-one. (Unless an angel tells you otherwise) “There can be no shortcut around the law of the harvest; truly, we reap what we sow (see Galatians 6:7) (Elder David A. Bednar “Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept”)

Positive FAITHing a loved-one by allowing (or creating) situations where the loved-one experiences consequences for their behavior.  This type of “learning” is often the result of “Love and Logic” or “Tough Love.” (See “The Only Path” blog if you need a reminder about the importantance of  opposition.)

Force 2:  The “Real” change occurring as a result of your Faithing

Do have “Faith” in your loved one’s ability to overcome those consequences. (No matter what.) “Faith” is a power, a tool, a force. It’s not just a word. It’s the first principle… of the gospel. It’s a powerful resource that you can activate to help a loved-one anytime – anyplace – all the time. Joseph Smith’s exact words are: “As faith is the moving cause of ALL ACTION in temporal concerns, so it is in spiritual.” (Lectures on Faith 1:12.) “All Action” includes influencing the behavior of your loved-one, is based on faith.  IF the smallest amount of this “force” called “faith” can move mountains (See Matt 17:19-20) THEN it most certainly can influence a loved-one!

Develop your faith in your loved one’s divine nature and destiny … (Perhaps read their patriarchal blessing to remind you) When your FAITHing in him/her is “stronger than the cords of death”  (D & C 121:44) lives will change.

A loved one experiencing the “law of the harvest” AND “you positive faith in them” is a very powerful combination. And in most cases, is certainly more powerful than $100 an hour therapy!

Back to Amy
A few weeks later Amy was stranded again. She made another desperate crisis call to her dad. This time the dad intervened by applying “FAITHing.” He believed in God’s power AND his daughter’s ability AND understood the importance of the “Law of the Harvest”.  This time the father replied to Amy’s despair with calm confidence saying, “Amy, you can do this. I know you can. You can figure this out. I’m praying for you. I trust you’ll do the best you can. I love you and God loves you. You don’t need me. I’m not coming.” Faith without works is dead (James 2:17-18). He hung up the phone.

FAITH is a creative force
A prophet has said, The future is as bright as your faith (Thomas S. Monson, “Be of Good Cheer,” Ensign, May 2009).

Improve your faith. Improve your future.

I also believe in part, The future of your loved-one is as bright as your faith …!

Improve your FAITHing in your loved one.
Improve your loved-one’s future.

As the spirit directs apply the FAITHing principle to a loved one.
This is what FAITHing a loved-one may look like.

A. Loved-one asks sometimes with words sometimes with their behavior saying “I can’t do this on my own I need you….blah blah blah.”
B. Faithful responds by looking into the love-one’s soul finding their divine nature and destiny with confidence beyond the cords of death and say:
Nothing- Yes that’s right shut up. (If words would have worked-they would have worked already) Simply “Faith them.”

A. Loved-one tries again saying something like, “But you have to. I can’t do it without you….blah blah blah.”
B. Faithful responds by looking into their soul finding their divine nature and destiny with confidence beyond the cords of death again say –Nothing.

A. Loved-one is deperate now saying with their words or behavior “If you don’t- respond like you always have something is going to change!… blah blah blah.”
B. Faithful responds with a calm voice saying, with love in your eyes say something like “Do what you think is best. You’ll figure it out. I love you.”

A. Loved-one is now confused with this new response and will respond something like “blah blah blah.”
B. Faithful responds turning and walking away. Continued FAITHing ALWAYS creates a learning / growing experience in time-typically weeks and months.

(By the way. did I forget to mention as you effectively “Faith” a loved-one OFTEN his/her behavior will get worse – more contention, more anger, more disruptive behavior, etc. etc. The loved-one must adust to your new found confidence in them.)

For extra credit watch this: See Others as They May Become– Thomas S. Monson

dr rick

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