written by Zach
Almost a decade ago, as many of you know, I consistently struggled with severe anxiety and depression. There were multiple reasons for this, but one of the reasons was due my skewed conceptions about God. Some of the incorrect thoughts were a result of my own incomplete personal studies, but some were also taught by different teachers.
As a person struggling with fear and anxiety, I remember leaving some specific sermons and reading certain blogs that left me more confused (and scared) about my issues with anxiety and depression. There’s a perception in the evangelical community that for a Christian to doubt is a bad thing or even a “slander against the almighty.” But I actually think that perception is a bit unhealthy, and maybe even dangerous to teach.
Some might teach that Jesus died so we didn’t have to doubt anymore. However, I’ve learned to view doubt as my friend, not the enemy.
I see doubt and faith as two different sides of the same coin. I see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane at the end of his life, full of faith, but also full of wrestling with doubt. I read in Paul’s letters, including the letters toward the end of his life, written by broken man- full of faith, but also full of insecurity.
There is prevailing thought and belief among Christians that maturity equals certainty. It’s thought in some circles that the more certain a Christian is about their practices, beliefs, God and following his ways, the more mature they are…(especially if they declare these beliefs with much bravado in their voice). I see and hear it all the time and everywhere...in sermons, the songs we sing, and in conversations I overhear at the coffee shop...and it's not healthy. Certainty does not equal maturity.
A person’s trust in Jesus, in the midst of doubt and much uncertainty, produces real faith and maturity and is a lot healthier on the person’s mind as well.
In my opinion, the Christian will not one day come to a place when he or she does not experience doubt in some form. Where there is great faith, doubt will be present. Will you and I continue to trust still in the midst of it?
I want more grace in my life and the in the lives of those I counsel. In this post I’m offering you a different perspective- it’s your choice to agree or disagree. However, if this perspective is resonating with you, I want you to know that if you ‘struggle’ with doubt- it’s okay. You are not less of a Christian than someone who is more 'certain.' My doubt has deepened my faith in Jesus and helped me to have true compassion for others. For faith to even exist, doubt must be present. For faith to continue to grow, doubt should be right there with it. I'm not afraid of my humanity anymore. I've embraced it, and by doing so, have allowed it to be transformed by Holy Spirit into deeper faith.