Do you have doubts?
Follow up, and more direct, question: As a follower of Christ, do you have doubts about God?
Let me be the first to say, I totally do. I know its easy to sit on the other side of a hard season of life, play Monday morning quarterback, and say that you knew it was for your good. I don’t sit in that and think James 1:2-4… Far from it. In those moments, I have doubt. I doubt God’s plan, I doubt God’s goodness and I doubt God’s care and concern for me. Heck, it doesn’t have to be a hard season… it could just be a bad day or me being impatient with God.
Regardless, most of us could say (not that we would ever admit it out loud) we have had doubts concerning God. The bigger question isn’t if we experience doubt, but what we do with it. I think as followers of Christ, we approach doubt in 2 ways, both being incorrect:
- We pretend it’s not there entirely, and mask our doubt with something we attribute to faith, which is really to say, trying to live in ignorance. This looks a lot like pretending there is no doubt, because Sunday School taught us doubting God was a sin. So we ignore it and say we’re fine. I mean, we are NOT fine, but as long as I’m the only person that knows that, everything is okay.
- We approach God with it, but not honestly. We call it, again, a lack of faith, and pray it is removed. We leave that prayer assuming it is removed, and repeat it if we feel the smallest inkling of anything that feels similar to doubt. We then consider that us dealing with it.
See what happens? Nothing. Both situations don’t deal with anything, or even approach it honestly. Where is the transparency? Where is the vulnerability? Where is us approaching our Father, or the people God has placed around us? Short answer… it isn’t there.
So what do we do with our doubt? It isn’t a “do one thing and all will be fixed” thing, but I think step one is simple: be honest. I think of it like an illness (not to say anyone with doubt is spiritually sick or anything… it’s just a metaphor). If you never admit your sick and seek treatment, you have no chance of becoming well.
First, be honest with God. I mean, what a silly concept we form within our minds- to think that the God of the universe, the person who made everything, including us, doesn’t know we struggle. Tell Him what our struggle is and why. Tell Him that you struggle to believe what you read in the Bible, or that He has a plan because life sucks. Tell Him everything.
Second, tell your community (pause- If you don’t have a community of faith to turn to, this needs to happen. God uses that community to stir your affections for Jesus as well as to mold you into the image of His Son. You were built for it). It’s crazy for us to think we are the only person dealing with doubt. I promise you, there are others.
Instead of the usual closing and encouraging paragraph, take a few minutes and watch this video. It sums up doubt and God’s respond better than I ever could.
Don’t assume all your doubts are legitimate just because they are there. Place your faith in the God that has not been wrong yet. Don’t place faith in your doubts. Doubt your doubts.