4.16.2013

Doubt

Whenever I hear the story of Doubting Thomas in the bible, I think of myself. But when this happens, I don't see it as a negative thing. So many Christians are scared to talk about doubt, but I think it is SO important, because it is something that we struggle with as humans. Doubt pops up in everyone's lives, whether you doubt your intelligence, your faith, or your ability to do something successfully-- we all know how it feels to doubt.  That being said, I think doubt is a good thing, something that one can grow from.

Some might say the opposite of faith is doubt, but I don't see it that way. If you haven't already noticed, I am very logical. I like to get down to the meaning of things-- to see proof. As you can imagine, it can be very hard for me to remember to have faith, especially in the absence of proof. But, I have found that no matter how much doubt I have, God always finds a way to show Himself and counter that doubt. I think doubt is a part of being Christian. I know that James 1:6 teaches those who doubt are "like a wave of the sea that is driven as tossed by the wind," but why does that always have a negative connotation?   Doubting has only brought me closer to God. I know that doubting sometimes pushes people away from Him, as it did for me for a LONG time. But I think when you choose to give up your life to Jesus and trust in Him, He will always come through for you, even in times of guilt. It is nothing to feel guilty about.

Take yesterday as an example. My heart sank when I learned of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, even more so when I learned about the death of an eight year old boy. A few years ago, I might have reasoned that if there was a God, why would He let something like this happen? But since I have learned more about this, read about that here, I no longer even think to ask this question. Instead, I saw the work God was doing in the first responders, and the bystanders. The images and videos of the service men and women, and race staff rushing towards the wounded. Hopping fences, running people away from the scene in wheelchairs, sacrificing their clothing to clot a stranger's wound. God is good, even when horrible things happen in the world.


All of this being said, I encourage you to talk about your doubts. Fellowship is a great tool for growing from doubt, and can often clarify some of the reasons you might have the doubt in the first place. Sisters, talk with your pastor or church leaders. Talk to your friends and family. Leave me a comment, or shoot me an e-mail-- I would love to chat with you! The reason doubt comes to be seen negatively is people are scared to share it, and churches sometimes condemn it. I think if we all become more comfortable with the idea that doubt is a healthy part of faith, there will be less people doubting in the first place, and we will all grow closer to Christ. If you look in the bible, I think you will find that God is a tolerant God, much more so than many churches. Lift up your doubts to Him, you might be pleasantly surprised.

If I haven't convinced you, maybe this passage from Philip Yancey, the author of "A Skeptic's Guide to Faith," will:

"As a child I attended a church that had little room for inquisitiveness.  If you doubted or questioned, you sinned.  I learned to conform, as you must in a church like that.  Meanwhile those deep doubts, those deep questions, didn’t get answered in a satisfactory way.  The danger of such a church like that—and there are many—is that by saying, “Don’t doubt, just believe,” you don’t really resolve the doubts.  They tend to resurface in a more toxic form.

Inquisitiveness and questioning are inevitable parts of the life of faith.  Where there is certainty there is no room for faith.  I encourage people not to doubt alone, rather to find some people who are safe “doubt companions,” and also to doubt their doubts as much as their faith.  But it doesn’t help simply to deny doubts or to feel guilty about them.  Many people, after all, have been down that path before and have emerged with a strong faith." I encourage you to read more from him here.

Overall, hang in there. When in doubt, pray. Reach out to others. Know that you have nothing to be ashamed of. If you think no one else in your life doubts, they're putting on a good show.


1 comment :

  1. "God is good, even when horrible things happen in the world"... love that, amen sister!

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