Hiking in the foothills at Pima Canyon the first part isn’t too tough. I’m going up and a group of three (I’m guessing) friends are picking their way down. As we pass each other we nod and I hear one of them say to the two other, “I doubt it.”
WHAT’S IT WORTH?
The word doubt stuck in my head. So as I’m trekking my way up the trail, to occupy my mind, I thought about doubt. Finally settling on and attempting to answer this question: Does doubt have worth?
- I’m not sure?
- None of the above
- All of the above
MAYBE MORE THAN I IMAGINE
After a lot of undecided back and forth I (sort of) concluded that (as a Christian) doubt helps my faith mature.
Here’s what I’m thinking. I’m extremely dependent upon my senses (feelings):
- Can I smell it?
- Can I taste it?
- Can I hear it?
- Can I see it?
- Can I touch it?
IS THAT REASONABLE?
If my senses fail to give me positive proof I try reason.
If x equals 1 and y equals 2 and z equals 3 then z multiplied by y plus x equals 9.
But if reason fails and my senses are unable to prove anything then what am I left with? No evidence and maybe stinging doubt. Is doubt a bad thing?
DOUBT HAS IMPRESSIVE COMPANY
I found that doubt has some very impressive celebrity company. For Mother Teresa if God is a feeling then during much of the final years of her ministry she didn’t feel God. Does this mean God wasn’t there? I doubt it. (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1655720,00.html).
For Billy Graham when doubt pressed him hard his decision was to trust the words he read in his Bible. Even though reasons and feelings sometimes give rise to mystery it doesn’t mean God isn’t. (http://blog.christianhistory.net/2009/08/billy_graham_and_the_rest_of_t.html).
And for John the Baptist who had many triumphs and wonderful experiences with God, he asked, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting or should we look for someone else?” (Luke 7 NLT)
MAYBE I’M WRONG
Somehow I’ve held the idea that the opposite of faith is doubt. But the opposite of faith isn’t doubt it’s unbelief. Unbelief and doubt are different.
The quest for me (and perhaps for you too) is to work through these words from Hebrews 11.
The first verse says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And then add verse six: “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (NKJV)
YET MAYBE DOUBT AIN’T SO BAD
Doubt travels in the company of two other friends: Feelings (senses) and reason. These three friends however do not suspend faith and often have little to say about reality. Doubt’s worth something valuable.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.