You know, we have a weird relationship with doubt.
We talk a big game. We like to say that we are very accepting and open-minded toward others. But when it comes to talking about the things that are really important to us, we suddenly change our tune.
Look at how we talk about politics or faith for that matter. We are obsessed with figuring out who is in and who is out. As soon as we band together as believers, we feel the need for a new litmus test, a more stringent set of beliefs to determine who are the true believers and who are the imposters, the fakes, the frauds and saboteurs. When someone around us doubts, it feels like an attack. It makes us afraid, fearful that we might have to start doubting something that we have taken for granted. Maybe we become fearful that we have been duped. The result is that we are more polarized, divided and suspicious of one another than ever.
The truth is that doubt, the most important kinds of doubts about God, about life, about everything around us, are usually not at their heart an intellectual exercise.
Doubt is born of disappointment.
We believed that life was this way, that God was that way, and then it turns out to not be true. We grieve the loss of this cherished belief. That is why doubt is traumatic and troubling. Our doubts about God do not usually come out of the clear blue sky. They come from some deep hurt that we are grieving. Often, people who are in doubt about their faith are not in attack mode. They are often in survival mode or defense mode.
I found a verse this weekend that I do not think I have ever paid any attention to. I wonder what would happen if we tried to live it this week.
Some of the biggest seasons of doubt I ever experienced were the product of great loss and disappointment. What about you?