This is the second in a series of posts concerning the doubts we might have concerning our faith.
II. All Have Doubts
If you read the Gospel according to John you’ll see that Jesus did not criticize or scold Thomas for his doubt, but gently said to him:
“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (NIV, John 20:29)
Jesus understood it is natural to have some questions and doubts, especially about things we don’t understand. If you have some doubts, you are in good company. Everybody from John the Baptist to the Apostle Thomas to Martin Luther to Mother Teresa has had some doubts at one time or another. The question is not whether or not you have doubts, but what you are going to do about them.
1. Drop Outs
Some have doubts, but don’t want to deal with them, so they just drop out. They don’t bother to try to find answers to their questions. I guess they feel that this stuff is just not understandable or maybe irrelevant. I can assure you that from my own experience, much of it is understandable when you make the effort to learn. It is certainly not irrelevant because these things have to do with God, life, morals and ethics, and where we spend eternity – not exactly trivial issues.
Some have doubts about the faith or about God, but become hostile, angry, and critical, often because God didn’t answer their prayers as they wanted. I know a number of people who are angry with God because God didn’t spare a loved one, so they have become harsh critics. Unfortunately critics would rather tear down than search for answers that just might give them some degree of comfort as well as insight. Some of these critics devalue the Scriptures, saying they’re fairy tales, parts were added later, or they’ve been distorted by misguided disciples.
The most productive way of dealing with doubt is to be an explorer. Explorers make the effort to get answers that might help to explain what they don’t understand or they have doubts about. Remember, just because you doubt something doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Just because you might not understand something doesn’t mean it can’t be understood.
How do you become an explorer? You become an explorer by learning as much as you can about Jesus, God, life, and Christian beliefs. You can’t learn unless you make the effort by attending church, prayer, and participating in a Bible study, things like that. Are you willing to make the commitment to constructively address your doubts and keep an open mind?
More on the subject of doubt in a future post.