Are you sure?
It’s a common phrase. Sometimes, we simply ignore it. And sometimes, it nags at us, haunts us, bothers and confuses us.
How sure are we about tomorrow, or later, or even soon? How sure are we of the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe? How sure are we of our transportation, our payrolls, our contracts, our businesses, our transactions? How sure are we of our schools, our neighborhoods, our government, our society? How sure are we of our relationships, our families, our emotions, our friendships? How sure are we of our health, our wealth?
How sure are we, really?
I wanted to visit a wake after the prayer night in our church, but we had to hurry. So after several failed attempts to get a cab, I finally opted to hail an airport taxi. It was costlier, but we were pressed for time. As usual, I amicably sparked a conversation with the driver, which eventually led to the disturbing stories about dubious taxi cabs that was circulating on Facebook.
He then gave us pointers on how to avoid such, what to watch out for. He then highlighted why airport taxis are more expensive — especially the quality service that they give (which I realize was actually true — at least from our experience with him). He detailed the rigorous tests and strict requirements before being qualified as an official airport taxi driver. As I left the vehicle, I felt a renewed sense of respect and confidence for their profession.
A lot of things in life rob us of faith and trust. Tragedies. Calamities. Epidemics. Or even the occasional heartache, headache or tummy-ache. It rattles us. Our beliefs are suddenly questioned, our principles road-tested like a helpless crash dummy. Doubts arise and try to drown us. We become suspicious. We start assuming, making emotional contingencies. We turn hostile to every deed and thought — paranoid, afraid, isolated.
Certitude is the state of being or feeling certain. It is about having complete assurance or confidence. It is about being sure of an occurrence or result, or its inevitability. Most importantly, it is the freedom from doubt, especially in matters of faith or opinion.
Yet how can we truly be free from doubt? How can we really be sure?
As the Bible says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [John 8:32 CEV]
Facts are good. It helps us see things objectively. It gives us reliable information to base our decisions from. But facts are relative, transient. A single fact can mean anything to any people, or nothing. Two persons can use the same fact to argue for their contradicting points. Facts can only point us to the next point, not lead us to our intended destination.
Truth, on the other hand, is absolute. Truth is certain. Truth is unchangeable, unbendable, incorruptible. We can embellish facts, but we can never truly taint what is true. Truths like life, love, death, hope, grace are undeniable — they simply exist. And because of truth, we find confidence. And in confidence, we become certain. And with certainty, we discover strength. And with strength, we feel assured. And with assurance, we know better than to live in doubt.
That is why we believe in family — not on its temporary state of being fragile or broken, but on its truth: that we need families, that we can trust and rely on families, that we can make it work and happen, that we can find inspiration and consolation and celebration within each and every circle of families we find.
That is why we believe in friendships — because even though some may in fact be rotten, it does not change the truth that friendships are beautiful; that they are a gift; that they can last a lifetime; that they can be closer than brothers or sisters; that we can find them even from our parents, strangers or even our worst enemies; that there’s an enduring and persevering power about friendship that enables us to press on with life — as well as help others to do the same.
That is why we believe in love — that despite the many heartaches we encounter (though often our own faults), true love can prevail and overcome; that it can see beyond the temporary happiness and chase after a true joy that breaches social boundaries and expectations to create bonds that challenges any of our cultural construct or imaginative limitations; that there is a love which can be selfless, sacrificial, and simply pure.
That is why we believe in God — simply because against all the sadness and negativity and craziness in this world, we can find hope and rest in His word and promises. And even when doubts come on His existence, He makes Himself known continuously for those who are really seeking Him. And His goodness and faithfulness has never failed us — not in life, and nor even in death.
Certitude is not an attitude of making sure; it is an attitude of being sure — even when everyone else questions what you think or believe. Because in the end, you are the one who make the choices. You’re the one who takes the steps. So be sure. Be confident. Believe.
• • •
Want to know more about the be attitudes? Stay updated on the series:
#0 — Introduction
#1 — Gratitude
#3 — Certitude
#4 — Solicitude
#5 — Promptitude
#6 — Fortitude
#7 — Vicissitude
#8 — Quietude & Solitude