Doubt :: Is it OK to doubt?

doubt   (dout)
v. doubt·ed, doubt·ing, doubts

  1. To be undecided or skeptical about.
  2. To tend to disbelieve; distrust.
  3. To regard as unlikely.
  4. The condition of being unsettled or unresolved.

Last night at SCU we talked about Doubt and how it’s healthy and when it becomes unhealthy.  I was tasked with the very difficult job of finding worship to fit with a doubt night!  Interesting topic and very difficult to find worship that fits.  But what I found through it (and really I didn’t find this until in the throws of leading worship last night) is that having doubt is just being hungry for the truth.  It’s asking the tough questions and being honest with yourself and with God.  I grew up in church all my life.  I don’t know that anyone ever said don’t doubt God but there was plenty of reference leading me in that direction.  I guess maybe doubt is the wrong word.  I like the fourth definition above: “The condition of being unsettled or unresolved”.  There’s so many things I run into that make me unsettled or unresolved.  Even reading the bible leads me to being unresolved.  So many times there are things said that just don’t make sense and you are left wondering what God is trying to say.   So I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is a point that Doubt is necessary.  It is good to ask the question so you can start on the road of discovering the answer.

So then when is doubt bad?  I am looking into my life and the kinds of doubt that I’ve had.  I think for me when doubt has turned from a good question to life sucking is when I let my doubt or my question rule and direct the course of my life.  When a doubt like: “Is the picture of Christianity today really what God had in mind?”  is just a question it is healthy.  When I strive to find the truth about what God wants it’s healthy.  When I decide to have nothing to do with God because of the picture I see it becomes unhealthy.  I’ve taken this turn before.  I’ve let my doubt control my actions. 

I love this example of doubt:

Exodus 14:11-12
 Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? 12 “Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
Have you ever felt this kind of doubt?


~ by Stephen Baker on January 30, 2006.

2 Responses to “Doubt :: Is it OK to doubt?”

  1. Yeppers. Not on a live-or-death scale, but definitely doubted his plan. And now looking back I see how blind I was to not trust is all seeing eyes. And now I am so glad that I didn’t just throw in the towel, but kept marching even though everything within me wanted to collapse. Actually, I don’t think that “I” kept marching, I think that He marched for me and I just hung on for the ride.

  2. Last night was really a helpful message. Maybe the point doubt is unhealthy is when it causes us to let go of whatever we’re doubting. It’s possible to believe something while at the same time questioning it. But it’s irresponseble to let go of a belief that is in question. We have to live by faith in order to doubt respondsebly.

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