Ep.1020: Do My Doubts Mean I Don’t Have Faith?
Understanding and harnessing the power of uncertainty
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Theme Scripture: Matthew 14:30-31
If you have doubts that means you must not have faith. So goes the typical thinking of many Christians. If we adhere to this thought then each and every one of us will need to brace for our next crisis of faith, because the fact is we ALL doubt. We all question. We all wonder and at times we all second guess. So, what of it? Is there a way to look at our questions and insecurities in a different light? Can those nagging thoughts that swirl about in our minds actually be a benefit? Yes! Yes they can, and I am saying this without a doubt! Once we understand doubt and its different forms, we can begin to piece together the process that can actually take those insecurities that silently and incessantly gnaw away at us and use them as tools to feed and increase our faith. Admittedly, this is not easy and it may not even be fun – but it is an answer to the debilitating experience of having doubts. Faith can win!
Doubt usually comes to us by way of two primary roads. The first road is that of the intellect. We can believe in something but still have difficult questions come up that we can't answer, therefore sowing seeds of doubt. This uncertainty brings us to a crossroad. I am no longer sure, so what do I do? This doubt is directly related to our thinking and need for our minds to be changed in order for it to dissipate. The second road on which doubt arrives is that of emotion. Something happens in life and we get hurt, or we are misunderstood, or we develop a bad feeling about someone or something. Mistrust sets in, and this can be crippling. The only way to overcome this misgiving is through the reparation of our feelings and perceptions. Eliminate the emotional distress and dissolve the doubt.
Solving such reservations is not a clinical exercise, for the next thing we need to know is our doubts are rarely all intellectual or all emotional. If fact, there are two primary ingredients needed to remedy the doubt dilemma: clarity and conviction. Clarity is simply having your mind able to receive and process truth over fiction and diluted facts. For a Christian, this always comes back to the Bible, carrying within its pages the truth of ages. Conviction is the fire that moves us to action and is a result of becoming clear in understanding. All doubt needs both clarity and conviction to be handled.
This may sound easy, but the challenge in all of this is identifying what might be driving our doubts, and knowing where to look and what to do to truly alleviate them. Check out our May 5, 2018 podcast, “Do My Doubts Mean I Don’t Have Faith?” and see how to put this all together. Doubt can - with the right responses - actually be a positive experience. Wouldn’t you want your doubts to become tools of growth rather than mud to be mired in? I would say yes...without a doubt!