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A Definition for Faith

a definition for faithFor those of you who have been following my progress for this year’s intention, “The Year of Having Faith,” you are no doubt aware there have been many starts and stops, aha moments and setbacks thus far.

Recently, nearly halfway through this faith-focused year, I came across a definition for faith that I actually resonate with.

In a sea of definitions that read like textbook-based memorization lessons (i.e., “having complete confidence in someone or something” and “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion”) it was a real relief to stumble across a definition that felt – human.

Authentic. Compassionate. Inclusive of both questions and answers.

This definition, discovered in an older yoga lesson I recently re-read, stated:

Faith is believing the unseen is as real as the seen. 


The “unseen” – that pretty much sums up every question and doubt I have.

The “seen” – that pretty much sums up everything I think is automatically believable because I can touch it or see it or quantify it or “prove” it in some way.

This definition, alone among the many others I have consulted, effortlessly builds a bridge between thinking and feeling, knowing and sensing, proving and doubting.

It includes phenomena like animal communication and healing prayer that can be quantified on certain levels yet never fully explained to the mind’s satisfaction.

It permits all to exist, equally, with equal validity.

There is no requirement for the belief other than giving what is unseen the same benefit of a doubt that the seen has already automatically gotten all these years.

Somehow, something I am searching for in this year (and probably every year leading up to this year) is contained within this definition, which is starting to feel less like a definition and more like a living mentor, full of, well, revelations yet to be revealed.

I’m not sure what it they are yet, but I am very glad to have the opportunity to unfold and explore its mysteries!

Today’s Takeaway: What do you think of this definition? Does it stir anything in you – curiosity, doubt, questions, answers? 


A Definition for Faith

Shannon Cutts

Freelance writer. Author. Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise & box turtle mama.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2016). A Definition for Faith. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Sep 2016
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