Is it okay to have doubts? Which is worse, to have doubts or to pretend you don’t when you do? There are many things in this life I do not understand. There are even more things within the confines of a Christian life that I do not understand. Sometimes the only thing more frustrating than having doubts are the glib, patronizing and nonsensical answers other people often give in response to doubts.
Part of the problem I think is that doubts make us uncomfortable. For those whose faith hangs by a thread anyway, or who have repressed doubts of their own, your doubts can be very threatening. So they have to come up with good-sounding answers to squelch and put out the sparks of your doubt before it becomes a raging fire in their mind that they cannot contend with. But doubts happen.
Obviously we would prefer to have no doubts, but some of the greatest patriarchs of the bible had doubts: David, Job, Abraham, Gideon, Zachariah, John the Baptist and the disciples to name a few. What did they have doubts about? What was it they didn’t fully understand? Lots of things. You can see evidence of this in the things they said, the questions they asked and, at times, the actions they took.
My life right now is at a place where I am beginning to have doubts, lots of them. All the clichés I’ve thrown around at other peoples’ doubts over the years don’t work nearly so well when applied to my own situation. Does that make me weak? Absolutely. Hypocritical? Probably. A backslider? I hope not. And therein lies another big problem. We tend to think any type of doubt is automatically sinful.
Can God handle my doubts? Do you think it’s okay to even ask a question like that? There are a lot of things happening all around that make little sense. The formulas and best laid plans don’t seem to be working out the way they should. On the surface, some of the promises in the bible don’t always appear to hold true for me. Things aren’t going the way I thought they would for a Christian. So now what do I do?
I hope and pray God understands my doubts. Perhaps there is some comfort in the fact that even bible characters had them. The key is faith. Hebrews 11 lays it out quite clearly. And so I also ask God to help my unbelief. How about you? Do you have doubts you have repressed? Are they bubbling just beneath the surface of your own pat answers? Having doubt is not unusual, but it needs to be dealt with.