Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Doubt is a Good Thing

Being an associate minster for four years means I have four years worth of practice preaching on Low Sunday, aka, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, aka, the Sunday after Easter. It shouldn't be called Low Sunday but Associate Sunday. Since I have preached on this same piece of scripture for a while now I have started to come up with a theory about doubt.

Many people criticize Thomas for doubting that Jesus was resurrected. We, as ministers, claim that Thomas didn't have enough faith. We harp on Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. Yet how many of us hearing God's call to ministry did not have moments like Thomas? How many clergy can say they never have doubted their faith? If we are honest, I would suggest we all have doubted or are even currently doubting? BUT is that bad though?

Doubt is not bad but is actually the glue that holds our faith together. If you are searching to understand God and to build a closer relationship to him then doubt will lead you to ask questions and thus search for answers. When those answers are found what you have is a richer, more meaningful relationship with God. Without doubt we could simply be having a dry spell in our walk with God or have given up on deepening our faith. Doubt allows our brains and souls to start asking questions, to start talking with God through prayer, and to being a journey into a deeper relationship with God.

I was amazed at how many people were upset to learn that Mother Teresa had doubts in her life. With all that she did in her life, why is it hard to believe she questioned her faith? The answer is we have this idea that when doubt sneaks into our hearts that somehow we are sinning against God or that we are all of a sudden hypocritical in our faith. Look at the life of John Wesley, he doubted. He spent time wondering if this God thing was worth it and then his heart was strangely warmed. He ended up with a deepen faith that allowed him to transform the world.

We should stop putting people who doubt down. Instead we should help them along their journey and encourage their questions. Doubting Thomases are great to have in a church family because they push all of us to ask more questions and dive deeper into our faith. Doubt is the glue that holds are faith tighter to God.

No comments: