What Do you Do with Doubt?

September 25, 2010 at 11:48 am 1 comment

Have you ever doubted? 

Sure!  I’ve doubted whether someone was telling the truth.  I’ve doubted whether Mom was right when she said [insert name of suspicious food] was good.  I’ve doubted whether doing homework is helpful.

But you know that wasn’t really the question.  Have you ever doubted…your faith?  Have you ever doubted something as serious as Christianity? 

I have.

This post has been on my heart for awhile, because I’ve been noticing something.  It seems as if doubt is one of those topics that you’re not supposed to talk about.  You know, because a good Christian shouldn’t ever doubt, and if you do….there’s something wrong with you.

Have you ever felt this way?  I hope it’s not true everywhere, and maybe it’s just my perception.  But I know that in high school I reached a point where I really struggled with Christianity.  I wanted to believe.  I wanted it to be true.  And I felt like an absolute hypocrite because of my doubts. 

I felt like I was the only one who had ever struggled through it.  But I see more and more people in college struggling with hidden doubts.  And I’ve learned a lot since then.  And so this is what I want to tell you, if you are in this place:

You are not alone.  And it is okay.  It’s more than okay: it’s perfectly natural AND essential.

I’ve heard it described as “spiritual adolescence”.  It is simply one of the good stages we go through in the development of our faith.  And let me go so far as to say this: if you haven’t experienced any season of doubt, you will. 

For me, I simply hit a point when I realized that I couldn’t live halfway.  I needed to know, like I know gravity exists, that Jesus is real and who he said he was.  Because I didn’t want to live my life in a lie, and I didn’t want to be held back by doubts and worries that undercut everything I did.  I either wanted to know and believe and then throw my whole life into it – or know that it was false and then just back off and not bother with it any more.  I couldn’t stay in the middle. 

Brian McLaran talks about the “4 Stage of Faith Development“.  He breaks them down into Simplicity (stage 1), Complexity (stage 2), Perplexity (stage 3) and Harmony/Humility (stage 4).  Read the article for a great explanation of each of them – I just wanted to show you that it really is a normal and natural stage. 

Basically, we’re learning.  As the Faith ON Campus blog recaps from one of McLaran’s talks – we realize that “Everyone has an opinion, and who knows which one is right?”

That seems like a reasonable question to me.  We’re old enough to understand that things aren’t as cut-and-dry as they seem.  That everyone claims to know the Truth – but if there is only one truth, how do we know that we’ve got it?  We’re exposed to more arguments than we know what to do with.  Reasonable arguments, too.  It’s a bit rattling! 

And so we have questions and doubts. 

And those are okay.  And even good

Tomorrow, I’ll talk a bit more about what to do with them.  But for now, be comforted in knowing you are not alone and this is perfectly okay.  Okay?

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Entry filed under: faith.

one of those days… What to Do with Doubt

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. singamelody  |  September 26, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Ooh, I remember being in that place too. It happened when “everyone” knew what they wanted to do with their life, but I didn’t. At first I thought maybe God dropped the ball on me, then I wasn’t sure if everything I was taught was even true… But then after reading a bunch of different books, I came out with a much stronger belief then before 🙂

    Reply

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