Thursday, October 27, 2011

Do you have questions or are they doubts?

I have been mulling over what doubt really is.  Some would say it is a lack of certainty.  While that is true in many instances, it doesn't seem to encapsulate what doubt really is.  Some say that doubt is good - that in the same way that black velvet dramatically shows off the splendor of a diamond - doubt is the backdrop to our faith.  I don't know if I go for that either, however.  Yes, faith needs a doubt (in the same way that warm needs cold or high needs low) - oppositional ideas are best drawn out by their counterparts.

But if doubt is so great why does Jesus continually chide the disciples for their lack of faith?  In fact, you could say the entire Christian religion is unique in how much value it places on faith.  How can we be so content to harbor doubts?

I need to think some more about this, because I don't think that we can ever say that we have no doubts.  I think we would be lying to say that we don't have doubts.  But something may be helpful here - is it really doubt we struggle with or unanswered questions?

I am starting to think that whatever we come to believe about the world requires us to have questions and then go on to answer those questions.  If we wonder whether someone will feed and take care of us, we get that answered when our mothers call us for dinner or tuck us in bed as kids.  As young adults we wonder what our life will look like and that answer gets slowly answered over time.  We have no doubts when the question is answered, but when the answer is slow in coming the question begins to rot and becomes doubt.

So I wonder if doubt is just a fermented question.  The question we have not answered. Maybe we are too tired, apathetic or scared to seek it's answer.  Doubt does not mean that there is uncertainty out there, it means that there is uncertainty within.

How do we get rid of doubt?

Face the question.  Answer it.

1 comment:

  1. I've recently started reading your book. A friend of mine recommended it to me because she knew I was dealing with some serious doubt. I was completely caught off guard by my doubt...some seeds were planted in some interactions with an atheist friend and then it was off and running. And, I'm not a 'young person'. I'm a 40 year old mother who has been a Christian since I asked Jesus into my heart at the age of 6. My spiritual journey hasn't been without bumps. My 20's were a dark period of rebellion...but I still believed. This doubt I've faced is beyond anything I've experienced before. I've been writing about it on my blog...and I mentioned you and your book a couple times too, because you really gave some fresh perspective. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for what you've written and I look forward to finishing your book.