Some Thoughts on Doubt

Today, a brother on the other side of the world confessed he’s doubting his faith. And recently, a student in my class has been doubting relativity. It’s not every key that can open the lock, is her metaphor.

Some of us are doubting, and learning it’s okay to doubt. And some of us have been, like a beached whale, stuck and washed up on the shore of doubting and relativity and being tossed back and forth by every wave, for too long – we are doubting doubt and relativity.

Doubt is a bold confession to confess in a community where there are believers who are condemning Thomas because he needed to see the risen Christ.

Doubt is a bold confession to confess in a community where there are believers who also have doubted, have sought God, and have overcome their doubt, and genuinely want others to also overcome and be lifted into a solid faith and confidence.

When you’re doubting doubt and relativity in a classroom full of opinionated people raised in a generation that was encouraged to live by personal feelings, it’s hard to confess, because people will accuse you of not accepting their opinion, or accuse you of being self-righteous.

It’s not easy to confess your doubt in a community that is so certain.

In one way or another, they claim or seem to be so certain.

I confess I had a moment of doubt recently when I was playing a game with my brother, sister, and dad. They were experienced game players, and it was my first time playing. As we went along playing and they taught me how to play, there was a rule that wasn’t logical. I demanded to see the rule book. Dad has always been a skeptic, and while my sister was annoyed with me that I wouldn’t just believe the more experienced game players, he quickly got the rule book down for me so that I could read it and know it for myself. And I did. I read it for myself and found out they were right, and I was fine with that, was fine that they were right, but I was also happy that I knew it for myself.

I want to know and understand things for myself. And I want my students to know and understand things for themselves. And I want that brother on the other side of the world to know his faith for himself. If it requires moments of doubt and seeking and searching and uncertainty and skepticism, then fine. So be it. We are all doubting in one way or another.

If I am already really a person of faith and know it for myself and am stronger than the doubter, then my job is to pray, my job is to be nice, my job is to speak and act when the Holy Spirit leads or when the doubter comes along with questions or looking for the evidence. My job is not to condemn or freak out or wrongly retell or misinterpret stories of Christ and his interactions with a doubter.

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